Young cancer patients at the Leeds Children’s Hospital can now keep a record of their treatment by collecting special coloured beads every time they undergo a procedure.
The scheme was introduced at the hospital in a special event by staff working within the paediatric cancer team across Leeds Teaching Hospitals. The programme was brought to the UK from the USA by charity Be Child Cancer Aware in order to help children get through difficult cancer treatments.
The beads are used as meaningful symbols of courage that commemorate different milestones the child may undergo, such as blood transfusions, hospital stays and chemotherapy.
The Beads of Courage programme will allow patients to collect a different coloured bead each time they visit the hospital and undergo a procedure and can be used as a record of the treatment pathway.
Lobke Cornelissen, Play Specialist, said: “We had a wonderful day introducing the Beads of Courage to all the kids here on Ward L31, and we are looking forward to rolling it out across children’s oncology within the Trust.
“Many of the children we see here at the hospital are living with serious conditions and in many cases undergoing treatments which would put the toughest people to the test.”
One of the patients attending the event, seven-year old-Ben Kitson from York, said: “I’m looking forward to showing all of my friends the beads I’ve collected, and talking about all of the different colours.”
His mum, Lucy Kitson added: “This is a great way of documenting Ben’s journey. It helps to show just how far he’s come since being diagnosed later last year.
“The beads will act as a real incentive to children undergoing some of the procedures here at the children’s hospital.”
Diane Watt, Treasurer at Be Child Cancer Aware said: “We’re delighted to bring the Beads of Courage programme to Leeds Children’s Hospital at the LGI. We are sure that children, parents and care-givers will love the programme and that it will provide a tangible means of support through treatment and acknowledgement of the courage and bravery of the children.”