Victoria Plouffe has been honored to witness the power and importance of how a simple bead can transform the treatment experience for a chronically ill child, as they receive a bead to honour each procedure they endure.
Victoria, a child psychologist and an accomplished glass bead artist, established Beads of Courage - Canada to provide unique arts-in-medicine programs in children's hospitals. The Beads of Courage Program provides chronically ill children a new coping strategy to help them along their challenging treatment journey. Over the past six years, Victoria has launched Beads of Courage programs in 10 children’s hospitals across Canada, benefitting more than 2,500 children and 12,000 supporting family members and medical professionals. She has been integral to the sustainability of the Canadian organization through her fundraising and volunteer efforts. Victoria believes that as a child’s bead collection grows, so does their personal story of courage. She feels that children can now turn a simple string into their ultimate strength.
Beads of Courage
Beads of Courage - Canada is a not for profit charity that allows children coping with serious illness the opportunity to record, own, and tell their stories of courage through an innovative Arts-in-Medicine program. The Beads of Courage Program is available for all children coping with a chronic illness such as cancer, blood disorders, cardiac conditions, burn Injuries, neonatal infants and mental health concerns.
Through the Beads of Courage program children use colourful beads to tell their story of courage. They begin with their name on a lanyard and then follow a colorful bead guide that determines the different beads they will receive along their treatment journey. Through the Beads of Courage Program children receive encouragement beads honouring milestones and accomplishments that are unique to their treatment journey (i.e. blood transfusions, bone marrow transplants, hospital stays and chemotherapy treatments). Encouragement beads are hand-delivered by the medical professionals who are providing the Beads of Courage program directly to the children and families. On average, a child enrolled in the Beads of Courage Program will accumulate over 500 beads. Every bead tells a story of strength, honour and hope.