LA teenager gives back to sick children in the Mother City

Jesse Spencer holding Dean Sher with Jodi Schaffer on the right, at the Red Cross War Memorial Childrens Hospital.

Jesse Spencer, 13, from Los Angeles in California, is on a mission to collect pyjamas for sick children.

He celebrated his Bar Mitzvah in Cape Town in December. The motivation to have his celebration in the Mother City was to be able to celebrate with his grandmother Barbara Sher who lives in Newlands, and all his South African family and cousins who live in Cape Town and weren’t able to make the journey to Los Angeles.

Earlier this year, Jesse’s cousin one-year-old Dean Sher, the baby son of Jonathan and Tina Sher from Sea Point, and another cousin, Jodi Schaffer, 29, the daughter of Sam and Wendy Schaffer from Claremont, were both diagnosed with serious illnesses and had surgeries.

Both children were treated at the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital. Jodi has special needs and although she is almost 30 years old and would typically not be eligible to be treated at a children’s hospital, her body is that of a paediatric patient so the children’s hospital and their team of doctors have helped her immensely.

When deciding how he could try and make a difference in the lives of other children, Jesse thought it would be a great idea to collect and bring pyjamas from LA to the sick children at the children’s hospital and he has dedicated the endeavour to his two cousins, Dean and Jodi.

With his gift to the children’s hospital, he hopes to make the children’s stay a little more comfortable.

Jesse has called his project Jesse’s Jammies. With the help of his supportive parents, Bronwyn and Richard Spencer, Jesse collected over 300 pairs of pyjamas from friends and family in both Los Angeles and Cape Town, and delivered them to the hospital on December 15, bringing festive cheer to many.

Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital executive director David Stephens, in a note to Jesse, said: “Your gift is much appreciated and will benefit our patients in Wards B1, B2 and also patients who have suffered abuse and trauma. Thank you for your support and thank you for thinking of our children and showing them such love and kindness.”

It is important to Jesse to make a difference in the world, just as his sister Maya did a few years back in Langa when she donated school supplies.

“I know that even the littlest thing can make the hugest difference” he said.

Visit www.jessesjammies.org and follow his journey.