Kanjerketting, or Bravery Beads

Jewellery is from all ages and is worn for different reasons and occasions. Marriage, birth, as a talisman, expressing your religion, social status or wealth, or accentuating ones unique or group identity. Now there is also a jewel for children who have cancer.

The Kanjerketting or Bravery Beads is one of the most wonderful jewels that I know. This very cool necklace was developed and designed by the Dutch Child Cancer Parent Organization (VOKK) and kanjer means cool (kid) but also sounds like the Dutch word for cancer: kanker.

This special necklace is a reward system for kids with cancer. Upon diagnose each kid gets a wax cord with an anchor bead that symbolizes hope. Next to that, it contains letter beads that spell their own name. When the treatment begins, the child gets a different bead for every treatment, investigation or occasion; chemo, emergency admission, a scan, lumbar puncture, hair loss, a good or lousy day. Every bead has its specific color and shape made out of Fimo clay and will create the necklace into the child’s individual story. This great idea gives children an extra tool to handle their illness.

Kanjerketting; What do the Bravery Beads mean for children?

I would like to put this cool cancer jewel in the spotlight. The Kanjerketting cannot get enough attention!

The Bravery Beads are made for 500 Dutch children annually. The production costs of the Kanjerketting are around EUR 50.000,- a year. This money is well spent, children are very happy with their necklace because it distracts them from the actual procedure. They can read their necklace and tell the story of their cancer in school, to parents and to themselves. This personalized shape of experience helps them to process or even accept their illness. Children look forward to receiving their bead as a “reward”, that they can add to their necklace. This playful approach of the serious issue of cancer is brilliant, supposedly even 17 year old boys are fanatic about their beads!

Our personal Bravery Beads

I also have a personal history with these beads. For my son David, who is about to celebrate his 5th birthday, the Kanjerketting is one of the only tangible objects of the horrid period of cancer that he survived when he was a baby. Luckily he cannot remember the extensive chemo’s and operations, but the necklace has a prominent place in our house and once in a while David will talk about his necklace. He will then also openly talk about his cancer, his loss of hair and about his moustache (by which he means the food tube that he had to wear).

Wonderful cancer jewel

Now, if you are into jewelry and also want help children that have cancer, here’s a great option for you: support the Kanjerketting!  You have direct control over your money. Every EUR 100,-  is good for one kids’ necklace. But it’s worth a million.

If you would like to donate please follow this link or just wire to account number 8942812 in the name of Vereniging ‘Ouders, Kinderen en Kanker‘  in Nieuwegein. For more information about the Kanjerketting you can e-mail to kanjerketting@vokk.nl

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One response to “Kanjerketting, or Bravery Beads

  1. Pingback: “I Love Boobies” bracelets | Kunsthandel Inez Stodel's blog on jewellery

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