Beads of Courage, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization transforming the treatment process for children and teens coping with serious illness through innovative Arts-in-Medicine programs. DONATE TODAY.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Fifty for Phoebe

When Susan Regan and Jessica Boettner met in Tucson in 2008, they felt a bond that quickly grew into a close friendship. At the time, neither of them could have foreseen the life-altering challenges they would face together and the impact one local nonprofit organization would have on both their lives. 
On November 13, 2013, Susan gave birth to her second daughter, Phoebe. She was a beautiful baby with wispy brown hair and deep, sparkling eyes. Friends and family adored her, especially her big sister, 3-year-old Hannah. 

Phoebe was born with a rare chromosomal abnormality which caused life-threatening complications, including congenital heart defects and a lung condition called pulmonary interstitial glycogenosis. Though doctors successfully repaired two holes in Phoebe’s heart, the steroids they gave her to help her lungs suppressed her immune system, leaving her susceptible to serious infections. 

Phoebe was in and out of the hospital, sometimes for months at a time. After her heart was repaired, she was days away from getting off the ventilator when her condition worsened. She contracted pneumonia and sepsis, overwhelming her little body’s defenses. She passed away on September 3, 2014, at 9 months of age.

In this year’s El Tour de Tucson, Susan and Jessica will ride 50 miles – 50 for Phoebe – to honor the beloved baby’s memory. They are also riding to raise funds for Beads of Courage, a Tucson-based nonprofit organization that supported the Regan family throughout Phoebe’s life. 

During each hospital stay, nurses and child life specialists provided colorful beads to Phoebe’s family, following the Beads of Courage program guide for her medical condition. The beads commemorated every step of her treatment journey: a black bead every time she was poked with a needle, a red bead every time she received a blood transfusion, a pink bead every time her life was dependent on a ventilator, and many more. 

Phoebe’s beads – which the family now displays in a beautiful glass vase in their children’s reading corner– serve as a long-lasting, tangible symbol of her courage throughout her fight for life. Big sister Hannah also received beads through the Beads of Courage Sibling Program. 

"Every time they came in to give us Beads of Courage, they were always so kind," recalls Susan. "It brought smiles to everyone in the room." 

After Phoebe passed, Susan and Jessica became more involved with the Beads of Courage organization as a way of giving back. The 2019 El Tour de Tucson will be their third time riding for Team Beads of Courage. Again this year, friends and family – including Phoebe’s daddy Keith and sisters Hannah and Bridget – will line the streets, holding signs and cheering them on. Afterwards, they will gather at a local restaurant to celebrate Phoebe’s life and honor her legacy of courage. 

"It’s so hard to lose a child," says Susan. "You wonder how you are going to move forward. Supporting Beads of Courage and the families going through what we did is a blessing. Riding in El Tour helps us keep Phoebe’s memory alive." 

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To support the Beads of Courage El Tour de Tucson Cycling Team, click here

Friday, August 16, 2019


If you’re familiar with Beads of Courage, you already know about our mission to support the most courageous kids on Earth – children coping with cancer and other serious illnesses.  Now, it’s time to tell the whole world about our work and showcase YOU, our honored members, families, clinicians, supporters, donors and friends.

World Beads of Courage Day (WBOCD) takes place during Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, which is also our Bead Challenge month!  We have many activities planned for September and invite you to be a part of this Global Celebration of Courage.

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Team from Roche Participates in Polymer Bead-Making Class

Many thanks to members of the Roche team in Tucson for taking part in our polymer bead-making classes!

"Recently, I was looking for a volunteer opportunity and became aware of Beads of Courage. After finding out more about the positive impact these handmade beads have on children, I looked into the bead-making class, which my husband and I took and enjoyed. 

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Support Beads of Courage on Arizona Gives Day, Tuesday, April 2!

Arizona Gives Day is Tuesday, April 2. This 24-hour day of online giving helps Arizona-based nonprofit organizations like Beads of Courage raise funds to support our critical mission.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Team Beads of Courage Member Karts Huseonica Announces Plans for 2020 Expedition

We're excited to announce that Team Beads of Courage member Karts Huseonica will be carrying Beads of Courage again on a record-setting expedition next year, along with his teammate, Lauren Sherwood.

The Yukon 2020 expedition requires Karts and Lauren to canoe the length of the Yukon River, an eight-week journey involving challenging currents, late-season ice flows, inclement weather, and dangerous wildlife.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Beads of Courage Bead Artist Hall of Fame Inductees

The Beads of Courage Bead Artist Hall of Fame was established in February 2013 during the 10-year anniversary celebration for Beads of Courage, Inc.  The purpose of the Hall of Fame is to recognize the contributions of bead artists in support of the mission of Beads of Courage, Inc.  

2018 Beads of Courage Hall of Fame Inductees

Steven Bay
Sioux George
Jesse James
Sarah James
Marcia Kmack
Joy Munshower
Sara Oehler
Stephanie Sersich
Andrew Thornton
Shannon Vickers
Stephanie White