Hearts for Emma Launches New Art Therapy Program

Hearts for Emma Launches New Art Therapy Program

The Beads of Courage art therapy program arrived in area pediatric cardiac units in September 2017.


Beads of Courage is a resilience-based intervention designed to support and strengthen children and families coping with serious illness. Through the program, children tell their story using colorful beads as meaningful symbols of courage that commemorate milestones they have achieved along their unique treatment path.

Hearts for Emma recently invested in this art therapy program to acknowledge all the different aspects of hospital life that patients at pediatric cardiac units are dealing with. Last September, staff and volunteers started to run the program in area hospitals starting, including to the Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital cardiac ICU where Emma was a patient.

Young patients are now filling their bracelets with red beads to represent blood draws, or specialty beads to commemorate significant and life-changing procedures such as heart surgery or even heart transplants. Children often wake up from procedures and immediately ask for their new bead. Hearts for Emma is proud to provide this service, which gives families and patients an opportunity to celebrate strength, fortune, and optimism at a time when those feelings may be in short supply.