Thursday, May 23 2013 11:28 PM EDT2013-05-24 03:28:07 GMT
Authorities said they broke up a huge drug operation in the Tennessee Valley. Twenty people were arrested Thursday morning and two more are charged in what investigators called overlapping drug ringsMore >>
Authorities said they broke up a huge drug operation in the Tennessee Valley. Twenty people were arrested Thursday morning and two more are charged in what investigators called overlapping drug rings.More >>
Thursday, May 23 2013 9:59 PM EDT2013-05-24 01:59:46 GMT
A train derailed at least 13 cars at Bear Creek, shutting down roads and causing a nearby school to evacuate. More >>
A train derailed at least 13 cars at Bear Creek, shutting down roads and causing a nearby school to evacuate.More >>
MADISON COUNTY, AL (WAFF) -
A program called Beads of Courage is helping put the spotlight on Childhood Cancer Awareness month this September.
The colorful beaded necklaces tell the story of children with cancer.
Two-year-old Ava Campbell has been battling cancer for nine months of her young life. Her mother, Erica, said she has a high-risk type of leukemia that is hard to treat.
"She's been on very extreme chemotherapy and will be for the next two years," Erica Campbell said.
But Ava was all smiles at the Light the Night kickoff event at Lowe Mill arts center in Huntsville in late August.
She and her family gathered at the event to promote awareness about the Light the Night walk at Bridge Street, which will be held on October 25.
Ava, like many other young cancer patients across the country, receives special beads in what is known as the Beads of Courage program. Each bead she receives represents a hurdle she crossed during treatment.
"For every needle stick, every chemotherapy, every medicine they take; every accomplishment, they get beads of courage showing how brave they are," said Campbell.
"It's an amazing blessing and now they have sibling beads, so our older daughter has the sibling beads also."
Athens resident Jamie Newton wanted to include siblings in the Beads of Courage program. His daughter, Sydney, was diagnosed with a rare type of sarcoma behind her eye in 2009.
Sydney's long string of glass beads depicts her own victory against cancer.
"A red bead represents that she had blood transfusions or platelets on that particular day," Newton said. "The most important one to us in this particular time is her purple heart. It's like a solider returning from war."
Newton said his daughter has now been cancer-free for two years.
Newton created Sydney's Coins for Courage program to help raise money that will fund the beads program for children with cancer at the Children's of Alabama hospital in Birmingham.
Donation jars are placed at different business across Athens, including Preston's Western on Highway 72.
Past donations have helped Newton build a bead program to help siblings of children with cancer to cope with the disease too.
"There's lots of money put into research but if you're not helping the children battling cancer right now and if you're not helping them cope with it or their families cope with it, what good are you doing?" Newton said.
Newton, a NASA employee, also arranged for a group of bead necklaces to travel in two separate space shuttle missions.
Those beads are part of a traveling exhibit called Beads in Space. The exhibit will appear at a fundraiser party for Sydney's Coins for Courage at the Limestone County Event Center at 6 p.m.
Lin-Z-Dru's Monogramming at 14536 E. Limestone Rd., Harvest, AL. Pimento's at 210 W. Market St., Athens, AL. Preston's Western Wear at 1703 US Hwy 72 E, Athens, AL. Suzanne's Bakery at 1207 E. ForrestMore>>