I belong to a really unusual club. It’s a club that no one wants to be in, a club for the parents of sick kids. We see each other different places, at Family Advisory Council meetings, at hospitals, at events for bereavement or other support groups. We don’t know each other, but often times we know what each other is going through, because while parenting is universal, parenting sick kids is select, and we often have similar challenges when it comes to obstacles and our kids.
We want our chronically or terminally ill child to be happy, to feel like a normal kid, to interact with other kids, and to feel as well as they can feel. We also want people to be aware of their struggle without calling too much attention to it. We want our kids to be empowered, not embarrassed.
They are our Brave Fragile Warriors, and we are their champions in the world.
I had this incredibly interesting meeting last night, where one of the members was talking about his daughter who had passed away from her brain tumor. The more I listened to this story, the more I knew that I had heard this story before. After it was over, I approached the dad and asked him if a student group from Mount Ida College had come to his home in the summer. He said yes, they had.
It’s called Love Your Melon, and I am their faculty advisor.
What is Love Your Melon? Funny name, right?
It’s a program and company that aims to give a soft, adorable hat to every child battling cancer in America. For every hat you buy, fifty percent goes to research and organizations created to battle childhood cancer. The hats get to the sick kid via “Crews” on college campuses. I have the honor to be the faculty advisor for the Love Your Melon Crew at Mount Ida College. These students set up tables to help bring awareness to childhood cancer. They dress up like “superheroes” to deliver hats to kids with cancer in pediatric hospitals around the country.
The company was founded in 2012 by two college friends who decided that this was what they wanted to do: connect college students to kids with cancer, while simultaneously giving money to fight cancer.
Here’s a video telling you more about it.
When I was talking to the dad last night, about his daughter Ava, who passed away this past June after many months battling her brain tumor, I asked him if he thought the Love Your Melon program was beneficial, if he felt it helped Ava. He said, yes, and not for the hat. He felt like it really was important for Ava to have the contact with the college students, to be made to feel special, to spread awareness to college students about childhood cancer.
In short, it was about the connection, not the hat.
He told me that when they had Ava’s celebration of life, that some of the students from Mount Ida’s Love Your Melon Crew came to celebrate with them. He told me how much it meant to him that they remembered.
So, if you would like to support this group, a group that gives a hat to each kid with cancer, who supports research and non-profits that fight cancer and support families battling cancer, that connects college students with sick kids, and maybe if you want to buy a few holiday gifts, Love Your Melon is the answer.
Here is their website:
Feel free to choose any college campus crew that will benefit from your purchase. The crews work on a point system, for every hat sold in their name, they get a point. For every point gained, they get closer to going to a pediatric hospital to give away hats to kids with cancer.
If you don’t have a favorite, or can’t decide, you can always choose my college, Mount Ida College Crew. They, and I thank you for your support.