March 21, 2013: Beads of Courage® and Austin’s Playroom Project are proud to support siblings of children coping with serious illness through The Beads of Courage® Sibling Program 

The Beads of Courage® Sibling Program is made possible through a program partnership with Austin’s Playroom Project, an initiative of the Mario Lemieux Foundation. The Beads of Courage® Sibling Program is designed to help siblings Record, Tell and Own their Story of Courage as they journey alongside their brother or sister who is coping with a serious illness. Each sibling participating in the program will receive beads to honor their courage and to show accomplishment in the face of tough challenges.  Research shows that siblings who have a brother or sister coping with serious illness often suffer from extreme anxiety and worries. Together, our goal is to support and alleviate stress experienced by siblings through meaningful support. 

Each sibling will begin the program support with a special bead created to recognize the Mario Lemieux Foundation and honor their commitment as a source of support and encouragement to siblings and families. 

About Beads of Courage, Inc. (a 501(c) 3 tax-exempt organization):

The mission of Beads of Courage, Inc. is to provide innovative Arts-in-Medicine programs for children coping with serious illness, their families, and the healthcare providers who care for them. Beads of Courage®Programs aim to transform the treatment experience, strengthen resilience based outcomes, and improve the quality of life for participants as they experience the healing benefits of narrative medicine.  Beads of Courage Programs currently support over 30,000 children in over 150 participating member hospitals in the United States, Japan, New Zealand, Canada and the United Kingdom.  The Beads of Courage® Sibling Program is available online or at participating Beads of Courage Member Hospitals. More information is available at www.beadsofcourage.org 

About Austin’s Playroom Project, an initiative of the Mario Lemieux Foundation:

Austin’s Playroom Project seeks to benefit families and improve the quality of a child’s hospital experience by establishing cheerful playrooms that are safe and educational.  A focus on family-centered care is an essential complement to medical treatment, and each Austin’s Playroom is created to do just that. Mario and Nathalie Lemieux were young parents when their son Austin was born prematurely and spent 71 days in the NICU.  While they were caring for Austin, there was no place to provide a comfortable calming environment and engage his two sisters Lauren and Stephanie, who were both toddlers at the time.  It was then that Nathalie realized a need for playrooms and began to craft a plan to raise the necessary funds to introduce sibling playrooms.   As of December 2012, 27 Austin’s Playrooms have been established.  The Mario Lemieux Foundation is a 501(c) 3 tax-exempt organization. More information is available at www.mariolemieux.org