KTTU "In Focus," 3/13/11, 10:30 AM & KMSB "Fox-11 Forum," 3/20/11, 7:30 AM

Posted: Updated:
By Bryce Potter By Bryce Potter

Host Bob Lee interviews Jean Baruch, PhD, founder, Executive Director, Beads of Courage, an innovative arts-in-medicine supportive care program for children coping with cancer and other serious illness, their families,and for their healthcare providers. 

Baruch says it was while she was working on her Ph.D. in pediatric nursing, she always grappled with how to help young patients cope with the emotional effects of cancer.  During her clinical practice at Paul Newman’s Hole in the Wall summer camps in Ireland, she says the solution came to her…beads. She says she noticed that campers seemed to enjoy beading, and the activity seemed to alleviate some of the emotional stress associated with the disease. She says that was the genesis for Beads of Courage. She says the program gives young patients colored beads to represent milestones, courageous acts, and procedures throughout their recovery process. She says there are programs for siblings, too, and for parents & caregivers. 

Baruch says Beads of Courage strengthens resilience and fosters a positive adjustment for children, their families and for clinicians.  She says it is funded entirely with private donations and grants.  She says to date, 89 hospitals have signed on to the program.  She expects to have 100 by year’s end.