University of Arkansas – Fort Smith students from a local chapter of a nationwide organization brightened the day of a local cancer patient as part of the chapter’s goal to fight cancer.
Students from the UAFS chapter of Love Your Melon recently visited Saylor, a local 14 year-old girl who has battled leukemia since August. The visit affected the students as much as it did the patient.
“Our job as a Love Your Melon crew was to make her feel like a normal teenager, even if it was for only a few hours,” said Morgan Kratts of Greenwood, founder of the local chapter. “We ended up staying at her house for two hours just listening to her talk about all the activities she still does while going through treatment. She left an impact on my life through her courage and strength in the face of a debilitating disease.”
Kratts started a UAFS chapter of Love Your Melon after receiving a hat for Christmas. But the present quickly blossomed into her determination to put a hat on every child battling cancer.
Kratts received the gift from her aunt and realized it was from Love Your Melon, an organization that works to give a hat to every child battling cancer in America. The company has more than 2,500 college students at more than 225 different schools across the nation.
After learning the story of the organization and having several deep-hearted conversations with her aunt -- who was personally battling cancer -- Kratts decided to bring the movement on the UAFS campus.
“My aunt is one of my role models, and seeing her fight cancer time and time again with such positivity is why I wanted to help with Love Your Melon,” Kratts said. “This organization focuses on children, and I think the more we impact their lives and show them why it is so important to fight, the easier it will be on them. Cancer isn't easy for anyone, but if I can do something so minor like buying a hat and that can impact a child's life, then I will do it.”
The Love Your Melon UAFS campus crew currently has 20 members. Members are:
Alma: Connor Appleton and Breann Ring.
Avery, Texas: Allyson Peek.
Bentonville: Shelby Rye.
Charleston: Bailey Murray.
Elkins: Cole Ludolph and Heath Slammons.
Fort Smith: Amra Trevino, Scarlett Arnold, Tony Jones, Brandon Scott and Bryce Perryman.
Greenland: Corey Johnson.
Greenwood: Taylor Williams, Katey Wyckoff, McKenzie Kratts and Morgan Kratts.
Hartford: Cassidey Pickle.
Muldrow, Okla.: Heather Deere.
Rogers: Ashley Anderson.