On Monday, patients in Seattle Children’s Cancer Unit were given the special opportunity to meet a rap superstar and collect some stylish swag from Love Your Melon, an apparel brand that has given more than 90,000 hats to kids battling cancer and over $2.6 million to support pediatric cancer research.
After wrapping up his Seattle concert the night before, Desiigner, best known for his Billboard chart-topping song “Panda”, made a surprise pit stop to visit kids at Seattle Children’s. During his visit, Desiigner passed out Love Your Melon hats and met with patients, giving impromptu rap performances and creating colorful superheroes.
“It’s a blessing being able to visit these kids,” said Desiigner. “I want to do what I can to make them happy, and working with Love Your Melon is helping me do that.”
Penny Lees, clinical manager of Seattle Children’s Child Life Department, was thrilled when she learned Love Your Melon and Desiigner wanted to spread their generosity to the hospital’s young cancer patients.
“The work that Love Your Melon is doing to help to raise awareness for childhood cancer is incredibly impactful,” said Lees. “Their interest in coming to the hospital to meet the kids who inspire their mission is a wonderful thing to see.”
Creating superheroes for super kids
Accompanied by a group of Love Your Melon Crew Members from University of Puget Sound, dressed as cancer-fighting superheroes, Desiigner first visited the Cancer Unit’s inpatient lounge. There, Desiigner and the crew created personalized superhero characters with several kids and their families.
Ewan Lill, 7, who has been battling acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) since last July, was all smiles as he created his very own superhero alongside Desiigner.
“He’s such a social kid,” said Ewan’s mother, Jenny Lill, as she looked on at her smiling son chatting away with the rap star. “You can tell he’s enjoying the company.”
In reflecting on when Ewan was diagnosed, Lill said she first thought it was tendonitis because he was playing tennis regularly at the time. However, she was devastated when she learned it was cancer.
“It was unexpected and incredibly difficult when we found out about his diagnosis,” she said.
Throughout the challenging months that followed, which included eight separate inpatient stays, Lill is thankful for the care that Ewan has been receiving at Seattle Children’s.
“Ewan has been getting outstanding care here,” said Lill. “We love the medical staff, especially the nurses who have been so helpful.”
Lill is especially grateful that Ewan is able to stay on track with school and sports.
“He gets to Skype with his second grade class to keep up-to-date with homework,” said Lill. “He’s also starting to play baseball again with a little league team.”
While Ewan still has a long treatment journey ahead, Desiigner said he was amazed and inspired by his cheerful spirit.
“Ewan is such an inspirational kid,” said Desiigner. “After spending some time with him, he made me feel like a kid again and that was fun.”
Desiigner and the Love Your Melon crew concluded their time at Seattle Children’s by seeing a few excited cancer patients and fans in their rooms.
Knowing that some of the patients he was meeting couldn’t make it to his concert the night before, Desiigner eagerly gave impromptu performances by dropping a few verses from “Panda” and handed out merchandise fresh from “The Outlet Tour” while visiting them.
As the visits came to an end, Desiigner said he was moved by the amazing kids he had met.
“I wanted to do this so I can inspire others,” he said. “In return, all the kids I met today have inspired me.”