Cancer is a disease that affects many people around the globe, and as a result, students at USF have joined the fight against it. Love Your Melon, a company devoted to helping cancer patients and their families, has a strong presence at USF. McKenzie Erickson, part of USF’s branch of Love Your Melon, talks about how the company began.
“It actually got started by two guys in St. Paul, Minnesota. They were in a business class, and their final project was to come up with a potential business idea that they wanted to do, and they had to sell 50 to 100 items of whatever they decided to make, and they decided to make these beanies for kids with cancer, and they sold out right away,” Erickson says.
Erickson has been involved in clubs combating cancer as far back as high school. Throughout her involvement, the impact that the work had on her has been as great as the one she’s had on them.
“Seeing these kids and their families struggling, whether their parents had cancer or them themselves, just the impact it had on the family and friends and the whole community in general was just amazing, and it just broke my heart,” Erickson says.
Love Your melon does much more than selling beanies. The company also holds events for cancer patients to lift their spirits during difficult times. Erickson explains one such event held on the USF campus.
“This past semester, we had a scouting combine event. We had a little boy whose name was Tennison and he loved football, so we went to the Stew and just had him run routes and play catch and pick his team that he wanted to play football with, and have pizza and stuff, yeah, it was really cool,” Erickson says.
While Love Your Melon does much for patients, it also works to help families of patients. For example, at every event that the company goes to, hats are given to family members of the patients.
Love Your Melon’s reach has grown drastically since it started. From a college in St. Paul, it grew into a national operation, and has recently gone beyond national borders.
“It was just in the United States, but recently, the past year we’ve went to global. So, around the world, just fighting alongside them and letting them know that they’re not alone in this fight but that we’re here with them. It’s a really cool organization. The impact you make on these families is amazing,” Erickson says.
Anyone interested in Love Your Melon can contact McKenzie Erickson at her USF email address.