Bronson Children's Hospital Journey Beads

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Bronson Children's Hospital Journey Beads

Every child diagnosed with cancer or a blood disorder embarks on a personal journey shaped by countless struggles and triumphs.

This film was generously created by Michael Story, Director of Photography at ImageStream.

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Journey Beads Photo Slide Show

Bronson Children’s Hospital understands that journey requires more than expert medicine. Children with cancer or blood disorders need supportive techniques to help them positively cope with illness, and guidance that nurtures them through their challenges. That’s why we have partnered with Glass Art Kalamazoo to start the Bronson Children’s Hospital Journey Beads Program.

Nattaly Brown with Journey Beads

The Bronson Children’s Hospital Journey Beads help young patients honor their hematology/oncology treatment experience with tokens that symbolize each significant milestone along the way. At the start of their care, each patient is presented with a length of leather personalized with their name spelled out in glass beads. As they undergo chemotherapy, radiation and surgery, they are rewarded at each treatment point with a one-of-a-kind glass Journey Bead that celebrates their progress and gives them strength and hope.

Every time they are facing another uncomfortable needle prick, or other procedure, their beads remind them of what they’ve already bravely endured. The beads also help children with cancer or blood disorders share their experiences in a tangible way with family, friends and other patients and serve as an ever-present visual reminder to take the journey one step, one bead, at a time.

Bronson Children’s Hospital Journey Beads are crafted with care by the hands of community artists, and each one is unique. In the hands of a child, they become precious keepsakes that tell a powerful story of strength, courage and hope.

Please Join Our Journey

Bronson Children’s Hospital Journey Beads program is supported by the Bronson Health Foundation through a grant funded by the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs as well as through individual community donations and in partnership with Glass Art Kalamazoo.

If you would like to support the Journey Bead program with a financial contribution, please contact the Bronson Health Foundation at (269) 341-8100, send an email to or click here to make an online donation. If making an online donation, please select the Children’s Hospital Fund Journey Beads Program.

Download our Journey Beads Community Information Card.

Journey Beads Partners

Bronson Children’s Hospital
Bronson Children’s Hospital is the region’s only children’s hospital. Families from ten counties in southwest Michigan count on us for their children’s care. No patients are ever turned away because their families cannot pay. Here, children of all ages receive the specialized care they need from experts in virtually every area of children’s medicine.

Glass Art Kalamazoo
Glass Art Kalamazoo is a non-profit art organization located in downtown Kalamazoo, Michigan. Our mission is to teach, create and promote glass art and artists. We teach glass art classes and programs to adults and youth in glassblowing, kiln casting, cold working, flameworking, stained glass, bead making and kiln fusing. We offer team building events, parties, art hops and educational programs to teachers and groups. Our instructors can also bring glass art to your classrooms or meeting place! Catalog classes, programs and activities can also be scheduled to fit your calendar, interest and budget.

Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs
The Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs strengthens arts and culture in Michigan by increasing its visibility; supporting arts education; encouraging new, creative and innovative works of art; and broadening cultural understanding. We are a key conduit for arts and cultural information, as well as a source of arts and culture grant funding.

Arts Council of Greater Kalamazoo
The Arts Council of Greater Kalamazoo (ACGK) is a nonprofit organization that seeks to improve the cultural life in greater Kalamazoo. Founded in 1966, ACGK’s mission is to support, promote and fund the arts in and around Kalamazoo County. Our members include arts organizations, individual artists and business partners, while contributions and support come from a wide area and include individual donors, as well as foundation and corporate grants. We accomplish our mission through arts management services, grant programs, education, advocacy, public programs and event promotion.

Journey Beads

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