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Feb 6, 2012 6:28 PM by Andy Koen

Strands of hope

Childhood cancer patients and babies in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Memorial Hospital for Children now have a tangible and visual reminder of the strides they have made during their recovery. Beads of Courage are symbols of hope and strength for children with serious medical problems. NICU Nurse Sharon Enoch explains each time a patient has a medical procedure done, she or another nurse will add a bead to their strand.

Tiffany Mason's twin boys Darrion and Trenton were born 12 weeks premature. She showed their lengthy bead strands to us and said she appreciates the sense of accomplishment the beads represent for her boys.

"It reminds me of the fact that they were born early and all of the things that they had to go through," she said.

Nurse Enoch says all three of her children spend time in the NICU when they were young. She wishes such a program had existed then to help her kids understand the challenges they faced early in life.

"This is a story that they'll be able to tell later, and in the meantime their parents and their siblings can all tell that story and supplement it with a visual representation," Enoch said.

Memorial began the beads program in September and is one of only four NICU units in the world to participate in the program.

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