Author: Claire Farmer, University of California–Los Angeles Campus Crew Captain
Imagine waking up and knowing that today you are about to do something incredible. Thinking back to our visit with Brylee, the most overwhelming emotion that comes to mind is pure happiness—a feeling that comes from seeing someone radiate joy from the inside out. I wish I could say that our visit with Brylee was something she’ll never forget (and maybe it will be!), but in truth, visiting Brylee was something the members of the UCLA LYM crew and I will cherish forever.
She was energetic from the moment we walked in and inspired our entire crew. During the hour we spent with Brylee, we painted pictures, listened to her stories, and got to hear her sing one of her favorite Taylor Swift songs. - Meg Hauer, Crew Secretary
Brylee was diagnosed with stage IV Rhabdomyosarcoma cancer on October 15th, 2015. With cancer residing in her nasal cavity, the bottom of her brain, left eye, and lungs, Brylee has faced obstacles most five-year-olds would not understand. Though challenges have been ever-present for Brylee throughout the past couple of months, her endearing smile and upbeat attitude have persisted through it all. It is now three months into her treatment and Brylee has finished 24 rounds of radiation, in addition to just starting her eight-month span of chemotherapy. As daunting as that sounds, Brylee is kicking cancer’s butt and inspiring everyone with her positive personality along the way.
Visiting Brylee this past weekend was one of the best experiences I have ever had. She is such a positive, spunky, hilarious little girl, and I find her story absolutely inspiring. Knowing that I have the opportunity to be involved in the lives of kids like Brylee through Love Your Melon makes me feel proud and excited, as I know that this organization truly makes a difference for these little fighters and their families. - Sheila Sharma, Vice Captain
Currently, Brylee is undergoing treatment at Mattel Children’s Hospital here at UCLA, and although her family is waiting for scans to check her progress, the doctors have a feeling that our little superhero is getting stronger!
The UCLA Love Your Melon Campus Crew had the opportunity to visit Brylee and her parents before she began her chemotherapy. As soon as we opened the door and Brylee saw how many people had come to hang out with her, she was overjoyed. You would think that anyone in her position—at any age—wouldn’t have the energy to entertain eight college kids, but Brylee isn’t just anyone. She kept us guessing with spontaneous dance moves and little surprise jokes. At one point, when our Vice Captain Sheila wasn’t looking, Brylee stealthily scurried behind her—motioning to the rest of us with a sneaky “shh!”—and completely surprised Sheila! We spent the rest of the visit painting with Brylee and figuring out what makes her smile.
Brylee was so excited to see our crew and her positive energy and spirit was truly amazing to witness. From the moment we walked in the door to when we left there was a huge smile beaming on her face. She was such a special girl to visit and our crew will remember this day forever. We love you Brylee! - Rachel O’Brien, PR Manager
I cannot emphasize enough how much this experience has made my heart full with happiness. I am beyond honored and appreciative to be able to say that I am personally helping to spread the mission of Love Your Melon. Sometimes people don’t notice the impact that one beanie can have, but seeing Brylee’s face light up at the sight of our crew is a lovely reminder as to why we fight towards ending Pediatric Cancer.
For more information about Brylee Joy's Journey, visit her Facebook page here!