By: Amanda de Lauzon
“Children who are fighting cancer need more than just medicine and treatment,” said Julia Caiazzo, President of the Love Your Melon Club. “They need to be reminded that life is beautiful and worth fighting for.”
Sacred Heart University’s own Love Your Melon Club partnered with the Interfraternity Council to host its annual swab drive called “Kiss Away Cancer” on Feb. 14 in the University Commons. This event supports the fight against pediatric cancer. Many people came to the event and registered for the swab drive, as well as to show support for the club.
The main goals of this event were to spread the awareness, raise money for the American Childhood Cancer Organization, and to recruit people to sign up for the Be The Match Bone Marrow Registry.
According the the Love Your Melon website, their mission is “an apparel brand dedicated to giving a hat to every child battling cancer and supporting the fight against pediatric cancer.” However, this apparel brand isn’t all that the club stands for.
“LYM helps students reflect about their life experiences, about the differences in the community around them and how a simple act of helpfulness for another person can be super impactful,” said Amanda Wagner, the LYM club Advisor. “The president embodies this concept perfectly.”
“During her first year as President, Julia participated in the Be The Match Swab Drive for bone marrow donations,” said Wagner. “Months later, she was matched with a patient in need. While she was nervous, she stepped up to the challenge wanting to provide the hope and support for someone in need.”
The Be The Match Swab Drive isn’t the only event they do throughout the year. Along with the swab drive, the club visits the Ronald McDonald Houses in various locations bringing the children care packages, homemade meals and participating activities with the kids and their families.
“There is no more rewarding and perfect moment then seeing the smile rise on the kids faces and knowing you personally made a difference,” said Caiazzo. “These children are the real superheroes and they continuously inspire me to be better and do more.”
The club works hard to help in any way to brighten up the day of a child that needs it.
“I’m interested in working in pediatrics and I would like to give anything I can to a kid or any person that needs it to live and this is amazing way of doing that,” said junior Luciana Gizzo, after signing up for the swab drive. “If you have something to give to someone, why not give it?”
The Love Your Melon club meetings occur bi-weekly on Wednesday’s at 9 p.m. in the Schine Auditorium. To see what the club is up to and when the meetings are, you can follow @shulymcrew on Instagram.
“This club, the president of it, taught me to love my life, live it full, and to remember the people standing next to you – don’t take their time with you for granted,” said Wagner.