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Real Stories

Izzy and Nic: The beads are her cancer story in colour

“The Redkite bead program allows children to tell their cancer story to others. It’s Izzy’s journey in colour and a sign of her bravery.”

Sometimes it’s the smallest things that make a difference.


Izzy’s diagnosis

Mother’s Day 2018 will be a day that I will never forget. My 12-year-old daughter Izzy was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia.

We were admitted to Westmead Children’s Hospital and a few days later a beautiful French speaking lady, Anne, came into our room.

She gave Izzy the choice of a cloth bag and then presented her with what would become her ‘journey of beads’.

The journey would start with some coloured beads, her name and a love heart.

At the time it did not seem like much, but as the days went by I started to notice the other children with their journey of beads hanging from their IV poles, some long, some short – all of them colourful and telling an individual story.

Anne became a source of excitement as she would greet my daughter every day and ask: “Can I get you a bead?”


A bead, which held a meaning, a memory – be it painful or be it happy, it was now apart of our long journey.

~ Nic


To this day, my daughter’s journey is nearly three metres long. It is her story in colour.

It is tactile.

It is something that we can look at, something that we can touch, something that will be forever with us.

The Bead Program

The bead program allows the children to tell their story to others, to watch them point to a bead and say: “That was a really hard day for me.

“I had to have a bone marrow aspiration and a lumber puncture.”

I believe that this program should be in every hospital for children, no matter what ward they are on, and no matter what their treatment is.

Let them have a colourful journey.

Let them have this journey to keep forever so one day when it is all over they can show their own children just how brave they were.

Redkite’s Story Beads are part of our Family Wellbeing Program in The Children’s Hospital at Westmead. Find out more about the program

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