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About Sickkids
About SickKids

May 14, 2012

SickKids Bravery Beads Program celebrates 10-year milestone

By Daniella Vasilovsky

The Hospital for Sick Children is proud to have reached the 10-year anniversary of the Bravery Beads Program, run by the Women’s Auxiliary and the Child Life Department. Over the past 10 years patients at SickKids have collected bravery beads to mark every procedure they have undergone.

On May 14, SickKids patients and families, both past and present, came together to celebrate their strength and bravery. A string of beads represents a child’s unique and special journey through difficult treatments such as chemotherapy, blood work and surgery. The beads are a special way to commemorate a patient’s courage through these milestones.


“One way kids have the ability and power to have their stories be heard is by wearing these necklaces,” said Alexis Shinewald, Child Life Specialist, SickKids. “Displaying these beads is a true testament to their sense of pride, self-worth and accomplishment.”


Since its launch in the Haematology/Oncology department in May 2002, the program has evolved into a hospital-wide initiative. To date, over one million beads have been given to sick children. Each area of the hospital has specific beads designed to represent procedures unique to that area. For example, if a child undergoes surgery, they are awarded the “blue pearl” bead. If they have a lumbar puncture, they get a “crimson sparkle” bead. Children can also receive the “birthday” bead and the “holiday” bead for spending these significant days in the hospital.


SickKids is proud to commend the Women’s Auxiliary volunteers and the Child Life Specialists for their essential role in the success of the Bravery Beads Program.