Chantel is ten years old and like many of her peers, she is fond of this bright shade of blue. Unlike them, Chantel has difficulty with her motor skills. So the necklace and earrings she created marks a truly remarkable effort for this young designer.

She listened intently to instructions at the beginning and once she started designing, she really concentrated on getting the beads she wanted on the wires. The smaller ones were challenging but this little girl did not quit. The look of accomplishment and triumph on her face once she finished was priceless. For me, a rare teacher moment to be savoured.

Beader Design #: 233


For many of us, beading is a soothing therapeutic activity. It represents our quiet time, away from the hustle and bustle of our daily lives. Creating something beautiful somehow satisfies our souls and we are rewarded by the smiles and thanks of the recipients. But for those of us who have full use of our hands and are in good health, we take much for granted.

TERRI JACOB is a bead artisan who survived a horrific accident several years ago which almost robbed her of her ability to walk. She is now housebound with only the use of one hand. And yet, she has overcome the odds and creates beautiful jewelry as can be seen on her Artisans Market webpage. Her bio there tells of her dogged determination to first walk and then take up a hobby which really requires two hands.

LENA MCNEILL is a 10 year old Canadian girl who went through intensive treatment including removal of her leg and physiotherapy for osteosarcoma or bone cancer - the same type of cancer Terry Fox had. For Lena, the beaded necklaces she made are much more than just trinkets. Each coloured bead represents a difficult procedure - yellow beads for hair loss, purple for physiotherapy, white for blood sampling and a big blue bead for her 12-hour surgery. When she finally got to go home, she had made three heavy necklaces in all! Read her story in the full CTV Canada article.

Many pediatric cancer centres offer Beads of Courage programs.These young patients barely understand what is happening to them and yet have to endure so many unpleasant therapies. Creating these necklaces one bead at a time motivates them to continue on. Beading also gives them a chance to play a more active role during treatment and help them communicate with their caregivers and other patients. For the medical staff and other adults, those necklaces are visible reminders of how much each child has already gone through along their difficult journey.