Kanji, a Necklace for Little Heroes Fighting Cancer

Support young patients in their battles against cancer with a Kanji bead to encourage them through each step of treatment


Young patients with cancer might be treated by the Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Division over a period lasting from 6 months to 3 and a half years. Numerous ordeals mark their journeys and it’s not always easy for their loved ones, their caregivers, or their friends to understand the distance they have covered in the fight against cancer. Each step of treatment – lumbar puncture, chemotherapy, surgery, etc. – is a hurdle to overcome and it deserves recognition.



The project offers young patients a “Kanji” bead for each step of their treatment in order to illustrate their treatment journey and to encourage them in their fight. The children can wear them as a necklace that can help all the people in their lives navigate through the steps that have been conquered and the ones yet to overcome.

The concept of the Kanji beads of encouragement comes from a Dutch association of parents of children with cancer who came up with the idea of the “Kanjerketting”, or hero’s necklace. In the beginning, the child receives a string, beads to spell out his or her first name, the First Bead, and the Bead of Courage. Then each step is marked by the gift of one of 41 specific beads.


Project manager

Ms. Cécile Gibault-Joffe, Quality Assurance Manager, Hematology Division, Oncology Department, Geneva University Hospitals

Mr. Giacomo Cristiano, Division Nurse Manager, General Pediatrics Division, Children and Adolescents Department, Geneva University Hospitals

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Un second article associé

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