On Oct. 14, Palermo Heart to Heart joined with first responders to announce a statewide program that allows them to “Carry A Bead” in honor of a child in treatment for serious chronic illnesses.
Carry A Bead is part of the Beads of Courage program, an arts-in-medicine program that helps children record, tell and own their stories of courage during treatment for cancer and other serious illness. Through the signature Beads of Courage Program, children receive colorful beads that symbolize their treatment journey.
The way the program works is first responders will wear two glass beads during their tour of duty, after which they will keep one bead as a memento of their participation in the program and the other bead will be returned along with a note of encouragement to children in member hospitals located across the state. The beads carried by first responders become “Act of Courage” beads, given on tough treatment days to provide an extra dose of encouragement and help children stay strong in their fight.
Together with the following department representatives, they are calling on other first responders throughout Pennsylvania to answer the call to Carry A Bead: Butler Township, Wilkes-Barre police, Wilkes-Barre firefighters, Dallas Township police, Freeland, Hazleton firefighters, Hazleton police, Sugarloaf Township, Weatherly, West Hazleton and White Haven.
First responders wishing to participate should visit www.palermo-foundation.org to order a First Responders Carry A Bead kit.
In 2011, the Palermo Heart to Heart choose Beads of Courage as its charity of choice and became the regional sponsor for the program in Pennsylvania. Currently, Palermo Heart to Heart financially supports four Pennsylvania children’s hospitals: Geisinger Janet Weis, Penn State Hershey, Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC and The Children’s Home and Lemieux Family Center, also in Pittsburgh.
Palermo Heart to Heart