Beads of Courage help Cliodhna through her cancer treatment.
Cliodhna is five years old and is currently in treatment for neuroblastoma. This treatment is aggressive, including chemotherapy, radiotherapy and immunotherapy. During the treatment she has many hospital stays, scans, blood transfusions and needle pokes. Her dad Alan wrote to tell us how the Beads of Courage help Cliodhna and her siblings through the treatment journey:
"Cliodhna joined the CCF Beads of Courage programme when it began in January 2016. We backdated her beads so we had her complete story. The programme has been a huge benefit to her. She often reflects on the start of her journey by looking at the first bumpy for drinking 500ml CT contrast. Even though she was at her sickest she knew it was important and she did it. That was the first of her acts of courage but by no means the last. We find the beads an excellent tool for her and us to reflect. We also enrolled our other kids in the sibling programme directly with Be Child Cancer Aware. Her big sister has also benefited from discussing her journey as we add beads. I realised how good they are when Cliodhna talked her grand uncle through her treatment. She spoke of pinches, pokes, scans, febrile, antibiotics, chemo, little sleeps and sore scars. I saw the look of amazement on his face. He was speechless at her comprehension of what was happening and at her strength.
I heard at a recent conference on childhood cancer that "positive rumination" (thinking over past events as victories) is a key part of staving off post-traumatic stress disorder in kids after cancer. It was when I heard this I realised that the beads are really a great tool to help Cliodhna cope. They could be one of the things that helps her pull through mentally while her body gets continually battered by treatment. And if I'm totally honest I'm hoping it does the same for us and her siblings."
Thanks Alan for sharing this with us. Best wishes from all of us to Cliodhna and family as she continues through treatment.
Childhood Cancer Foundation is honoured to be able to bring the Beads of Courage to every child in treatment on St John's Ward.