Cooperative Outreach

Northwestern Mutual and Beads of Courage Partner to help Children Coping with Cancer

Nonprofit organization to help further company’s commitment to children with cancer and their families

MILWAUKEE, June 29, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Northwestern Mutual, through its Foundation, announced today a strategic partnership with Beads of Courage, a nonprofit organization that provides arts-in-medicine programs for children and teens coping with cancer and other serious illness to decrease stress, encourage positive coping and self-esteem strategies during treatment. This new partnership will further strengthen Northwestern Mutual’s national Childhood Cancer Program by providing support to children and families coping with cancer.

“Childhood cancer treatment is an emotional rollercoaster for the children and families involved, and keeping a child’s outlook positive is crucial to their outcome,” said Eric Christophersen, president of the Northwestern Mutual Foundation. “Beads of Courage has been incredibly successful in helping families move forward in their cancer journeys, and we’re thrilled to deepen our partnership with the organization.”

Through the Beads of Courage Program, children and teens receive colorful beads that visually commemorate treatment and procedure milestones they overcome while receiving treatment for cancer. The Beads of Courage Program is a standard of excellence in over 150 children’s hospitals in the U.S., helping children record, tell and own their stories of courage. It is estimated that over 5,000 children and teens coping with cancer will receive Beads of Courage annually during their treatment journey thanks to Northwestern Mutual.

The partnership will focus across three areas:

  • Activate the Beads of Courage Program at seven major children’s hospitals across the United States, including: Texas Children’s; Phoenix Children’s; Seattle Children’s; Hoops Family Children’s; Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin; St. Louis Children’s; and Peyton Manning Children’s.
  • Sponsor 1,400 Beads of Courage Sibling Program kits to support siblings that have a brother or sister coping with cancer and provide workshops for children, families, and clinicians in select children’s hospitals across the U.S.
  • Support the development of a new Beads of Courage Bead Strong Program that includes art directives and mindfulness for children in active treatment for cancer, to help minimize stress and anxiety during long hospitalizations.

Starting in July, Northwestern Mutual will be the presenting sponsor of the National Bead Challenge. The community is encouraged to support this campaign and be inspired by the mission of Beads of Courage through September 30, 2017. Visit to learn more.

“The diagnosis and treatment processes for childhood cancer is a very challenging time for children and their families, and every accomplishment and milestone, no matter how small, warrants recognition,” said Jean Gribbon, executive director of Beads of Courage. “We’re grateful to Northwestern Mutual for their support and are looking forward to furthering our shared mission of supporting the quality of life of children coping with cancer, their families and the clinicians who care for them.”

The diagnosis and treatment processes for childhood cancer is a very challenging time for children and their families

Northwestern Mutual launched its Childhood Cancer Program in 2012 to give all kids the chance to live life to the fullest by accelerating the search for pediatric cancer cures and providing family and survivor support. The Program has raised more than $14 million in the fight against cancer, funding more than 160,000 hours of research.

Please click here for more information on Beads of Courage.




About Beads of Courage
The mission of Beads of Courage, Inc. is to provide innovative arts-in-medicine programs that improve the quality of life for children coping with serious illness, their families, and the clinicians who care for them. Beads of Courage programs are evidence-based interventions designed to strengthen resilience, alleviate suffering, and improve the psychosocial adjustment process. Beads of Courage, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization. For more information or to make a donation, visit
About Northwestern Mutual Foundation
The mission of the Northwestern Mutual Foundation is to improve the lives of children and families in need. The Foundation has given more than $300 million since its inception in 1992 and is designed to create lasting impact in the communities where the company’s employees and financial representatives live and work. We accomplish this by combining financial support, volunteerism, thought leadership and convening community partners to deliver the best outcomes. Our efforts are focused nationally on curing childhood cancer, and locally on education, neighborhoods and making our hometown of Milwaukee a great destination.
About Northwestern Mutual
Northwestern Mutual has been helping families and businesses achieve financial security for 160 years. Through a distinctive, whole-picture planning approach including both insurance and investments, we empower people to be financially confident so they can live life differently. We combine the expertise of our financial professionals with a personalized digital experience to help our clients navigate their financial lives every day. With $250.4 billion in assets, $28.2 billion in revenues, and more than $1.6 trillion worth of life insurance protection in force, Northwestern Mutual delivers financial security to more than 4.4 million people who rely on us for life, disability income and long-term care insurance, annuities, brokerage and advisory services, trust services, and discretionary portfolio management solutions. The company holds more than $100 billion of client assets as a part of its wealth management company and investment services. Northwestern Mutual ranks 97 on the 2017 FORTUNE 500 and is recognized by FORTUNE® as one of the “World’s Most Admired” life insurance companies in 2017.
Northwestern Mutual is the marketing name for The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company (NM), Milwaukee, WI (life and disability insurance, annuities, and life insurance with long-term care benefits) and its subsidiaries. Northwestern Mutual and its subsidiaries offer a comprehensive approach to financial security solutions including: life insurance, long-term care insurance, disability income insurance, annuities, life insurance with long-term care benefits, investment products, and advisory products and services. Subsidiaries include Northwestern Mutual Investment Services, LLC (NMIS) (securities), broker-dealer, registered investment adviser, member FINRA and SIPC; the Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Company® (NMWMC) (fiduciary and fee-based financial planning services), federal savings bank; and Northwestern Long Term Care Insurance Company (NLTC) (long-term care insurance).