Robin and his Beads

kids cancer switzerland

Robin, age 5, is quite proud to show off his beads.

Soldiers, policemen and firemen risk their lives every day serving their country or community. Each day people stumble upon accidents and risk their lives to save others. We recognize these heroes for their acts of courage; medals, decorations and other rewards are bestowed upon them by an appreciative public official or superior officer.

How do you recognize and encourage a young child fighting a battle against a life-threatening disease? A battle that is no less dangerous and harrowing? A battle where the outcome is as uncertain as the dangers faced by more well-known heroes?

You present that child with a Bead of Courage. In the French part of Switzerland, these beads are called Kanjis, the program is run by the Vaud Cancer League and Zoé4life finances the beads themselves.

Children receive beads for every treatment procedure and milestone that they encounter. Robin can tell you what every single bead on his over 400 bead strand signifies, from blood draws, nights in the hospital to hair loss and transplant. His beads help him tell his story and honours and recognizes his courage .

Robin was diagnosed 10 months ago, and his chain of beads shows his path, each one telling a tale of courage, patience, strength,  endurance, good days, bad days… And hope.

We would like to thank Robin’s parents Sophie and Florian for sharing these photos with us.

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