Beads of Courage

Flameworked glass beadsThis month, a major exhibition spanning 3,500 years of beadmaking will open at The Corning Museum of Glass. This exhibit will explore the many, varied uses of beads throughout history, and demonstrate the different uses of beads as cultural symbols across cultures and time periods.

The Studio has recently begun a partnership with Beads of Courage, a social program committed to using beads as symbols of bravery and fortitude for children with long-term illness. The Studio reserves ten unique beads made during flameworked bead demonstrations every month for donation to the Beads of Courage program.

Beads of Courage was founded by pediatric oncology nurse Jean Baruch in 2004 as a way to help her young patients commemorate milestones during their progress through extensive treatments. Each child in the program receives a colored bead to represent an instance of a certain procedure, an overnight hospital stay, or to acknowledge the small acts of bravery the children perform every time they face a difficult treatment.  The beads become a coping mechanism for the children and their families.

Tucker is a member of the Beads of Courage Cardiac Program. Here is a bit of his story:

Photo Credit: Kelsey Richardson, Everlasting Moments Photography

Photo Credit: Kelsey Richardson, Everlasting Moments Photography

Tucker, 3 years old, was born with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS). HLHS means that the left side of his heart never developed, so the right side of the heart has to do twice the work. He had two open-heart surgeries before he was 6 months old and he will have another open-heart surgery this June. Despite the fact that he only has half of a heart, he is full of life and is one of the sweetest, smartest kids you will ever meet.

Beads of Courage mean a lot to Tucker and our family because it is a visible reminder of the struggles and triumphs of his life so far. He loves his beads and enjoys adding new beads to his string, even though it means that he has been through another test or procedure. His favorite beads are his “Dream Beads” that were specially designed at his request; they are beads that represent the University of Tennessee Volunteers, his favorite team.

Through this partnership with Beads of Courage, The Studio is proud to touch so many young lives through the art which is produced within its walls.

Learn more about Beads of Courage:

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Quinn Doyle is a contemporary artist focused on producing beautifully designed functional and sculptural objects in glass, as well as paintings involving narrative visions of the figure. In addition to producing her independent studio line, she assists other artists in their glassware production and teaches courses in hot glassworking. She currently maintains her personal studio space at the bottom of a waterfall in gorgeous Ithaca, NY. Her work is represented in galleries and shops nationwide.

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  1. Thanks for sharing the story of Beads of Courage! Our daughter has been in treatment for Leukemia for 8 months and her beads tell her story beautifully, in a way she can identify and relay to others. It’s also helpful for us as parents to remember everything that she’s been through!

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