Today, we caught up with Elena's Beads of Courage.
Beads of Courage is a non-profit organization out of Tucson that is designed to honor the challenging journeys kids with cancer have to take. The colorful beads are a way to visually represent the many challenges these kids overcome along their treatment journeys.
Working on Elena's tenth strand of beads.
You can earn 21 different treatment beads
and 6 different milestone beads.
Here are a few types: red = transfusions, black = any type of "poke", white = chemo, yellow = overnight stays at the hospital, glow in the dark beads = radiation, tests/scans = light green, rainbow = care team visits (OT, PT, RT, CLS) and weekly completion of jobs
Elena's second purple heart.
This bead recognizes the completion of treatment.
When Elena was looking at the selections of purple hearts, she decided to choose this one because it had a twisted hard vine on it and it was "ugly". She said having to go through treatment for cancer a second time was like this heart twisted and ugly. We pointed out to her that this heart also had a glimmer and beauty underneath the vine. To us, this symbolizes Elena's beauty that always shines.
Elena earned 393 beads during her first battle with leukemia. During her second battle with leukemia at Scottish Rite, she earned 211 beads and since being here at Egleston for her bone marrow transplant, she has earned 188 beads. So far, through this program, Elena has been able to collect 792 beads that symbolize her courage and honors the milestones she has achieved along her journey.
We are so very proud of her and her strength and determination. She has fought and fought hard for six months now and for 29 months prior to her relapse.
She has persevered under terrible circumstances. She has done so with such grace.
Elena's story and battle are not over. Please continue to pray for continued strength, perseverance, and complete healing here on Earth.
"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9