Swimmers Give Back

After spending around 20 hours a week cozied into a six-lane pool, some MSU swimmers have made it possible to get even closer.

When a few of the athletes heard about a cause on campus that helps warm the heads and hearts of kids battling cancer, MSU swimmers jumped right in.

Love Your Melon is a non-profit run by college students, and it has a goal to put a hat on every head child affected by cancer. Colleges all over the country – including Michigan State – have campus crews that host donation events and raise awareness of the cause.

“It has given us a common goal outside of swimming, which is both refreshing and rewarding,” sophomore swimmer Lauren Kalwasinski said.

When Kalwasinski first heard about LYM, she found out that one of her teammates was the head of Love Your Melon’s campus crew at MSU.

When she’s not swimming the 400 IM and distance freestyle, junior Chelsea Abbott is the LYM Campus Crew captain at MSU. As captain, she organizes donation events and serves as the leader to 20 students in the crew.

“The whole thing is about spreading smiles and spreading joy,” Abbott, an elementary education major, said. “It brings some happiness to all of it, so that’s why i really liked it.”

Abbott didn’t find it hard to recruit extra hands for the cause that warms the heads and hearts of kids with cancer.

“It’s really fun because one of the main aspects of our team is being a family,” junior Emily Parsons said. “Being part of this group keeps us all close and focused on achieving goals outside of the pool deck the same way we are determined to achieve our goals in the pool.”

Abbott’s teammates heard about the cause and offered to help any way they could – whether that’s at meetings, handing out stickers or hosting events for donations.

“It’s designed to like help people that are battling cancer still find happiness and have fun,” Abbott said. “(As a child with cancer) you’re going through such a hard thing thats way past your years, and to still be able to do something kid-like and fun – i just think that was so cool.”

The MSU Love Your Melon Campus Crew plans on being at Relay for Life this year and will be selling hats.

Julie Angell is a multimedia journalist for Impact Sports

Photo: MSU Love Your Mellon Campus Crew