Hero Beads

Miss O and beads


Kelly & Hero Beads

We supply our popular Hero Bead program to young people treated at American Family Children’s Hospital. Hero Beads let kids and teens with cancer or blood disorders commemorate their personal treatment journey in the form of a simple, visible medical record. They initially receive a cord with letter beads that spell out their first name, plus a Diagnosis bead and a bead representing the American Family Children’s Hospital. Every time a young person has a procedure or passes a particular milestone, a member of the medical team can give him or her a special bead to add to the cord(s) of beads. Over time, Hero Beads provide a symbol of each patient’s personal journey, a touchable testament to strength and endurance. BCCN’s Hero Beads are our local adaptation of the trademarked Hero Bead program developed by American Childhood Cancer Organization of Maryland. We purchase many of our beads from them.

Patient families should talk to your Child Life specialist about the Hero Bead program. Patients who join the program in mid-treatment are welcome to obtain one or more cords and collect the beads they need to “catch up.” Patients who have already finished treatment or bereaved families may create a set by visiting the BCCN office. Call 608-231-8006 to set up a time to come in.

Here’s the list of available beads, subject to change:

Procedure / Experience

Bead Description


Air Lift Helicopter Charm
American Family Children’s Hospital Bead White Porcelain Rectangle w/ Red Kids
Biopsy Complete Orange-Yellow-Red Striped Sphere
Birthday on Treatment Balloons Charm
Blood Culture Red-Green Striped Glass Cylinder
Blood Draw Red Metallic Ball
Blood Transfusion Red Heart
Bone Marrow Aspiration Brown & White Swirled Tube
Bone Marrow or Stem Cell Transplant Spiked Rainbow Ball
Cast White Tube bead
Central Line Surgically In ‘Courage’ charm
Central Line Surgically Out Smiley Cube Bead
Course of Chemo Green Wooden Bead
CT Scan Cat Bead
Day Treatment Decorated Wood Oval
Diagnosis Gold Childhood Cancer Ribbon
Echocardiogram Purple Wooden Ball
End of Treatment Boy or Girl Dangle Charm
Finger Poke Pony Bead
Hair Loss Smiling Wood Disc w/ bandana
ICU/PICU Green Turtle
IM Injection Green or Pink Wooden Smiley Bead
Inpatient Admission Bear Bead
IV Infusion Multicolor Glass Flower Bead
Lumbar Puncture Light Blue Disc
MRI Pastel Sun Bead
Nuclear Med Scan Gold Ball
Oral Med, new Butterfly Bead
PET Scan Round Pet Bead
Platelet Transfusion Gold Disc w/ Moon, Heart, Star
Port Access/IV Placement Red Striped Barrel w/ Blue Star
Radiation Blue Porcelain Disc w/ Yellow Sunburst
Relapse ‘Hope’ Charm
Remission, No Evidence of Disease Wooden Smiley Ball
Sedation Pastel Moon Bead
Shunt Insertion Clear Tube
Stem Cell Harvest Spotted Multicolor Glass Bead
Surgery Blue Star
Total Body Irradiation Green Glass Star
TPN (IV Nutrition) Holstein Print Cylinder
Travel To Distant Treatment Center Red Train Bead
Tube Insertion (chest tube, g-tube, etc) Striped Cube Bead
Ultrasound Blue & White Spotted Glass Cylinder (old)

Blue glass cylinder (new)

X-Ray White Bone-Shaped Bead
Wish Granted/ Wish Trip Airplane
WOW Bead (Special Accomplishment) Gold Glass Bead with Swirls and Dots
Years Off Treatment (1, 2, 3, etc.) Number Beads Her