Journey Beads


Children with cancer 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 Bronson Children’s Hospital to train volunteers for the Journey Beads Program.

Journey Beads help young patients honor their cancer 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 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.

Journey Beads are crafted with care by the hands of Glass Art Kalamazoo volunteer bead 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

The Journey Beads program is supported by Glass Art Kalamazoo, the Bronson Health Foundation, and through a grant funded by the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs as well as through individual community donations.

If you would like to support the Journey Beads program with a financial contribution, please click on the donate button below.