A Super Day for a Super Hero


(Photo by Brianna Sirota)

Christina Genovese

On Saturday October 22, University of New Haven’s Love Your Melon Crew had a special superhero come and visit U.N.H. Christian Reynoso is a five-year-old boy battling acute lymphoblastic leukemia, and Love Your Melon chose to give him an awesome Superhero Adventure Day.

Love Your Melon (L.Y.M.) is “an apparel brand dedicated to giving a hat to every child battling cancer in America as well as supporting non-profit organizations who lead the fight against pediatric cancer.”

U.N.H.’s Campus Crew celebrated L.Y.M. throughout the week, from tabling in Bartles, donating 70 beanies to Baystate Children’s Hospital in Springfield, Massachusetts, and then having their first Superhero Adventure with Reynoso. Getting to do the Superhero Adventure Day was a reward after winning L.Y.M.’s Go for Gold Challenge with a video spreading awareness and support for Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.

The day consisted of spending the day full of all things Reynoso loves. Him and his six-year-old brother Jason were involved in the football game and Reynoso got a jumbo-screen shout out, they became fire fighters and explored firetrucks with help from the Fire Science students, and became FBI agents and got their own set of handcuffs. They completed an obstacle course and used their superpowers to pass a Superhero Certification test with help from Spiderman and Batman. The day ended with a lunch of all Reynoso’s favorite foods, and watching the movie Minions with his family and new L.Y.M. friends.

(Photo by Charger Bulletin)
(Photo by Charger Bulletin)

Nicolette Visconti is an undergraduate senior and a L.Y.M. ambassador. She said, “Spending time with Christian and Jason melted my heart! Both were the sweetest and kindest kids I’ve ever come across. It’s always nice to get your mind off of the stresses of life and help people just have a good day, even if it’s playing tag or duck-duck-goose all day. My favorite part of their Superhero Adventure would have to be Christian and Jason completing their Superhero Certification test. Watching them receive their FBI gear and locking up every lady in the room was historical! I can probably relate to them and the whole family since losing my mom at a young age to lung cancer was the worst thing that I have gone through, and I want to preach the effects on what cancer does to a person. I joined L.Y.M. because I fell in love with the mission behind it, giving every sick kid battling cancer a beanie. The passion that every member of L.Y.M. has for this organization has really inspired me, and I felt connected with that passion. Since joining it I have felt a strong sisterhood formed between all of us, establishing our goal and accomplishing them together.”

Another L.Y.M ambassador Brianna Sirota said, “Being a part of L.Y.M. is an unexplainable feeling. There are so many aspects to this organization that have not only made me grow but have changed my life. Christian’s Superhero Adventure, while it took a lot of hard work to plan, was easily one of the best days of my life. Seeing the pure joy on Christian and his brother Jason’s face, the thankfulness from their family, and the excitement of my crew brought my love and passion for this organization to a higher level than I thought possible.”

(Photo by Charger Bulletin)
(Photo by Charger Bulletin)

Crew Captain of U.N.H.’s L.Y.M Crew is graduate student, Tricia LaSasso. LaSasso said, “The U.N.H. Crew’s first ever Superhero Adventure could not have been more perfect, and that’s thanks to 3 weeks of planning and meeting with our co-sponsoring organizations (GSC, USGA, Fire Science Club, Chargers Football, West Haven FD, Sigma Chi, FBI, ChargerREC, Alpha Phi Omega, Charger Bulletin) who all contributed to make the day as great as it was. The moment when Christian’s picture went up on the big screen and he said ‘hey that’s me!’ followed by the whole crowd giving him a round of applause touched my heart, got me so emotional, and made me truly feel the love that L.Y.M. gives to superheroes battling cancer. When he saw the fire trucks, that immediate smile and burst of energy sprinting towards the trucks- when he saw Spider-Man for the first time and gave him the biggest hug- these are moments that have permanently imprinted on my heart. This day not only touched my heart personally, but made me truly see how something I started on campus because of my passion for kids and beating cancer has turned into this incredible group of people, all on the same mission and all with hearts of gold. I love my UNH Crew and could not be more proud to be their Crew Captain.”

To support the L.Y.M. mission, shop at https://www.loveyourmelon.com for beanies, or other apparel, and 50% of net proceeds are donated to help the fight against pediatric cancer.