Skip to Content


Our Nurses are MVPs!

BY Katie Leiby

There is not one patient family that we talk to that doesn’t tell us about the impact of the nurses in the Division of Pediatric Hematology, Oncology and Stem Cell Transplantation here at Columbia University Medical Center. Today, we want to share with you the above and beyond efforts of our nursing team, and invite you to help them achieve their goals.

A group of the 5Tower Nurses with a poster for the NY Mets event, made by a patient

About two years ago we were contacted by some of the nurses over in 5Tower, the inpatient floor for the Division of Pediatric Hematology, Oncology and Stem Cell Transplantation. There were things they wanted to do to improve the patient and family experience, and wanted help fundraising to achieve those goals. They wanted to have funding to help provide things like welcome bags with supplies and helpful information for new patient families when they arrive on the floor. They also wanted to start up Beads of Courage, a program that provides a patient with a bead for every step of their treatment, allowing them to tell their story and mark the milestones of their journey. There are beads for everything including admission, chemotherapy, transplant- all the beads are individually made and unique, mirroring the individual experience each patient has. They knew that all of these things would make a great impact on their patients and families but weren’t sure how to do it and we at Hope & Heroes were happy to help- this was the beginning of a great partnership!

Since then we have continued these meetings, allowing Hope & Heroes to learn more about their work and their needs, and giving us the opportunity to help them achieve their goals. Over the last two years the nurses have given their own time to put on four successful fundraisers. They have been able to supply welcome bags to new families arriving on the floor, which have been appreciated by every family during a hectic and difficult time. And last December they officially launched Beads of Courage.  Since this program started eight months ago, the nurses have seen and felt the impact. The beads help build the relationship between the nurse and patient, provide a great distraction when a patient receives medication, and are even a resource for pain management. Patients have come to look forward to each bead they receive, knowing that it symbolizes their experience- one patient family even scheduled a photo shoot for their child with their beads. Their fundraising efforts have been so successful that the Beads of Courage program is available to patients in the clinic as well as 5Tower, ensuring that it can continue throughout their treatment.

Nurses don’t have jobs where they sit at desks- they are constantly on the move going from patient to patient. So the only time they have to put these fundraisers together is on personal time. Yet, in every meeting we have with them they only talk about doing MORE. For them, this is about making a difference in the lives of people who are a part of their extended family.  And we at Hope & Heroes are proud to be their partner.

We want to invite you to join the nurses in their fundraising efforts by joining them at their next event: Hope & Heroes @ NY METS!
WHEN: Sunday, September 25th at 1:10pm- Mets vs Phillies
WHERE: Citi Field
WHAT: Mets vs Phillies- it is also Family Day at Citi Field – batting cage, dunk tank, face painting, photo booth, Mr. Met dash, and more!
HOW MUCH: Tickets are $60 each – Proceeds will help the nurses continue the Beads of Courage program and other funding needs

You can buy tickets by clicking here.

Mets Snip

Have questions about the event or want to learn more about how to support our nurses? Email us at or call 212-305-1420.

We hope to see you at the game!!



Comments (1)

Darius and i spent several weeks on 2 separate occasions on the unit. The nurses were as wonderful as what they are doing. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts

Comments are closed.

Back to top