|Beads of Courage member Taliyah, age 8|
Taliyah is one cool and courageous girl! In 2014, she was diagnosed with embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma, a malignant soft tissue tumor that is formed from embryonic skeletal muscle tissue.
She went through a year of harsh chemotherapy and radiation to fight against it. During that year, Taliyah had two life-threatening blood infections from neutropenia, an abnormally low amount of white blood cells.
She received 52 doses of chemotherapy over 28 visits, over 55 blood transfusions, went through five surgeries, and had 5½ weeks of proton radiation treatment.
Taliyah took happiness into her own hands and decided she would pay her courage forward to other children in the hospital.
With a little creativity and some help from her nurses and her mom, Taliyah decorates clips that are used to pin central lines to patient's shirts in order to keep them from getting pulled on. She also organizes holiday toy drives for all of the children in the hospital.
To date, Taliyah has received 1,139 Beads of Courage. Her favorite bead is the Purple Heart, which represents the end of her treatment for cancer. It is extra special, too, as it reminds her of her grandfather who also received a Purple Heart in the military. She shares her strength through the Carry a Bead kits that feature her picture, and hopes they bring as much happiness to other children as they do to her!
To learn more about our Carry a Bead program and to purchase your own kit, please visit beadchallenge.org. A simple bead can go a long way to encourage and honor a child’s fight for life. How many beads will you carry?
Hear from Taliyah herself in her new video on our Facebook page!