KU Love Your Melon crew supports the fight against pediatric cancer

Members to participate in 5k/8k run on April 1

By Audrey Innerst
Contributing Writer

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Four-year-old Mackenzie pays KU Love Your Melon Captain Kayla Whitman for her groceries at Imagi Nation – Photo courtesy of KU Love your Melon Crew

KU’s Love Your Melon crew will show its support in the fight against pediatric cancer by participating in the 8th annual 5k/8k Run to LIVE event, benefiting the Pediatric Cancer Foundation of the Lehigh Valley.

Run to LIVE brings the community together to help local families battling childhood cancer. The event will take place on Saturday, April 1 at the Ironton Rail Trail in Coplay and will feature an 8k run, a 5k walk, a raffle with prizes, music, food and entertainment.

According to the Run to LIVE website, last year’s event raised $70,000. This year’s goal is $80,000.

Love Your Melon is an apparel brand dedicated to giving a hat to every child battling cancer in America and supporting nonprofit organizations who lead the fight against pediatric cancer.

After hearing about the LYM organization, the KU LYM captain, Kyla Whitman, was inspired to create her own crew at KU. Her sister battled pediatric cancer at the age of 10. Whitman now wants to raise awareness and help others who are in similar situations.

The KU crew will be joining team Mackenzie, a fun, caring and compassionate four-year-old battling leukemia whom they visited this past January.

The crew went on a visit to meet Mackenzie and her family at Imagi Nation, a city built to scale for children with its own bank, grocery store, health clinic and dentist office.

“From grocery shopping to playing dentist, our day was filled with joy and laughter to create memories that will last a lifetime,” said Whitman.

“Looking back, the best part about Mackenzie’s visit was seeing how happy it made her. Especially for a four-year-old, she is going through more than I have in my lifetime,” said Whitman.

Mackenzie’s mother, Jennifer Cleffi, is very grateful that LYM took the time to reach out and spend the day with her family. “Love Your Melon provided a day of fun for our family and memories with them that I will cherish,” said Cleffi.

According to the LYM website, as children go through the challenging battle of cancer treatment, they need more than just medicine. Therefore, the group is “dedicated to providing this relief for children by creating an experience they will never forget.”

Race registration ends March 29. Application forms are available on the Run to LIVE website.

For more information about LYM or to purchase merchandise, visit http://www.loveyourmelon.com and be sure to select Kutztown University at checkout.

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