(Image via The University of Akron Love Your Melon chapter)
Can you imagine being in the hospital during this pandemic? Not only that, can you imagine not being able to have family visit because they fear spreading the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) to you?
According to the American Childhood Cancer organization, there are 15,000 children in the United States that get diagnosed with cancer every year. Right now, we are in the midst of a pandemic that is grabbing the world’s attention, but that doesn’t mean cancer just goes away.
There are still children sitting in hospital beds undergoing chemotherapy, with their lives changing just as much as the average person who is social distancing. Cancer patients, past of present, are at higher risk for COVID-19.
Love Your Melon is a non-profit organization that helps support families going through childhood cancer.
This organization sells beanies, headbands and blankets, among other items and donates 50 percent of all net profits to charitable funds and other non-profits, according to their website.
The University of Akron chapter is one of many at universities across the nation that help children in need and spread awareness of the battles many children face.
“In order to help childhood cancer, we first bring about awareness,” Anneliese Goetz, President of the UA chapter, said. “This is our main mission as a crew, we constantly strive to encourage those in our community to grow in their knowledge of the battle so many young children and their families face.”
The UA chapter also visits one hospital per semester, where they get the opportunity to pass out beanies to children and talk with families to learn about their battle against cancer.
Junior Brianna Kleckner, member of the UA chapter, thought this was a great experience because they were able to play and interact with the children.
“Kids were able to play and talk with us while we all had matching beanies, and seeing the smiles on the children’s face made it so enjoyable as well,” Kleckner said.
With the U.S. practicing social distancing, Love Your Melon has cancelled all of the campus activities throughout the remainder of the semester; meaning no more meetings or hospital visits for now.
Not only is Love Your Melon continuing their support to children, they are also making and sending out cotton face masks to hospitals in the US, according to their Facebook page.
While Love Your Melon is sending masks, beanies and superhero capes to hospitals, the UA chapter is still working hard to find ways to make kids smile.
“During the Covid-19 outbreak, we have ended all meetings and have been chatting through the GroupMe about ways we can help virtually,” Kleckner said. “This week as an organization we are making virtual cards that are being sent to Akron Children’s Hospital for all the children while we are all cooped up.”
In addition to the virtual cards, the UA chapter is making sure that they are sending love and support.