It’s common knowledge that cancer is brutal; everyone has heard of cancer horror stories. Donation events may help raise money for funding cancer research; however, there is still more that needs to be done for children with this destructive disease.          

Love Your Melon (LYM), a non-profit organization new to Emory University as of 2015, is different than other organizations that simply raise money to fund cancer research. This organization is a 20-member group that banded together for a common goal: putting a hat on every child battling cancer in America.

However, the goal of LYM is not only to put a hat on the head of every child with cancer.

“Now [it’s also] to help support that child and his or her family,” College junior Nowrin Chowdhury said. “Helping these kids forget what they are going through, even for a minute, can help boost their morale and give them a chance to feel like a normal kid.”

Chowdhury is interested in pediatrics, same as LYM Ambassador and College junior Sabrina Madni. Chowdhury and Madni’s personal values clicked instantly with the goals of the club.

“I heard about LYM in late July through Facebook, where a young woman I knew was promoting her own LYM Crew at Boston University,” Madni said. “After talking to her, I established the Emory Love Your Melon crew within the week.”

So far, LYM ambassadors all over the country have dressed in superhero costumes and have hand-delivered more than 45,000 hats to children battling cancer in America through its Buy One, Give One Program — when a person buys an LYM product, that same product will go to a cancer patient.

Not only do these club members deliver hats to children, they also plan superhero adventures with them. As it states on the LYM website, “from helicopter and plane rides to amusement park tours and celebrity concerts, your Crew has the ability to make a child’s dream come true.”

“LYM works on a level system based on items sold,” Madni said. “Since the Emory LYM Crew is just starting out, we are not yet at the level to do Household Visits or Superhero Adventures … [but we plan to have] members of Love Your Melon dress up as superheroes and visit children to remind them of their own power.”        

The Emory Campus Crew is just getting started, and Chowdhury has many hopes for the organization.

“Crew can collect enough points by selling hats and merchandise to visit hospitals in the Atlanta area and deliver hats,” she said.

Additionally, the Emory Campus Crew wants to use social media and word of mouth to spread the message.

“This semester, we will be at Wonderful Wednesday with a new event virtually every week,” Madni said. “Nationally, Love Your Melon only allows 20 people on a crew to keep efforts cohesive and focused. At this point, our crew is full. However, we do have a wait list as well as a volunteer list.”

LYM is becoming a nationally recognized organization and is just getting started at Emory.