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Carrying a Bead … and a Child’s Heart

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Kamryn Good (right) helps to create Beads of Courage for Caroline McKinney.

Kamryn Good (right) helps to create Beads of Courage for Caroline McKinney.

Kamryn Good (right) helps to create Beads of Courage for Caroline McKinney.

Taylor Harper, Reporter

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It took an encounter with a 4-year-old battling leukemia for Kamryn Good to understand where her life’s focus would be.

The result of this realization is that Good, a junior at Bixby High School, became an ambassador for the Beads of Courage program for the state of Oklahoma. She helps promote the non-profit and people can “carry a bead” for a child with a serious illness.

The beads are glass-blown, hand-painted, ceramic creations, and each one tells its own story. Good has always been a selfless, compassionate and joyous girl who is passionate about making a change for someone, big or small. Her personality and strong leadership traits have led her to volunteer her time with children in the hospital.

When Good was in the third grade, she was hospitalized for a few days. This gave her a sort of example of what it felt like to be in the hospital for a serious reason. During her sophomore year, she began looking back on that moment and decided to begin volunteer work. She realized that Saint Francis Hospital in Tulsa has no teen volunteer board like the Children’s Hospital at the University of Oklahoma Medical Center in Oklahoma City.  She met with someone who helped her start her journey towards creating this Courage Council, and along the way she find out about the Beads of Courage program.

Good volunteers at the Children’s Hospital at Saint Francis. Her journey with volunteerism started when she met a 4-year-old cancer patient, Caroline McKinney. Good was introduced to Caroline at the hospital. The little girl is battling leukemia and Good went to visit during her chemotherapy treatments. Caroline collects beads of courage beads for every obstacle that she overcomes in the hospital.

“I got to see all of her beads and how it made her face light up telling each story.”

After she left, she said she started to cry.

“It was that moment I found out what I want to do for the rest of my life,” Good says. “I want to be a pediatric oncologist and kick cancer’s butt with these kids.”

After this experience, Good was on board to start selling these beads, after witnessing first-hand just how special they are to the kids.

Good participates in beauty pageants and has won Miss Bethany’s outstanding teen competition. Her title helps her connect with the children in the hospital because they think she is a princess.

Good used her experience to start a new platform for pageants. A platform is mission that girls in pageants live by and inform others about what they are most passionate about. She signed up to become an ambassador for the Beads of Courage program. One can purchase two beads from Good that you carry for however long you like. Once done, you write a story of your bead and what acts of courage you completed while carrying it. Your letter and one of the two beads are sent to a child suffering from a serious illness.

Good continues to visit the hospital and devote her time to ailing kids. She has helped to increase teen volunteerism at Saint Francis Children’s Hospital. Good has the biggest heart, and she continues to show that each and every day.

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Carrying a Bead … and a Child’s Heart