Former patient gives back to hospital staff at Miller Children’s & Women’s

COVID-19 has impacted the lives of health care workers, so Jack provided Skonies as a way to pay it forward for the heroes on the frontline, some of which he has a personal connection.

Jack Witherspoon, 21, former Miller Children’s & Women’s patient gives a Skonies sample to a Miller Children’s & Women’s care team member.

Jack is a former patient of the Jonathan Jaques Children’s Cancer Institute at Miller Children’s & Women’s, where he was treated for leukemia. Jack had less than a 50% chance of survival and his battle with leukemia lasted nearly 10 years. He relapsed three times between 2- and 11-years-old.

“While being hospitalized at Miller Children’s & Women’s, I discovered my love for cooking,” says Jack. “Since I couldn’t hang out with my friends, I would watch cooking channels and learn new recipes.” My newfound love for cooking and the amazing doctors and nurses is what got me through those challenging years.”

Jack hosted a booth in the hospital cafeteria so staff who went to grab a snack or lunch were able to grab a free pre-packaged Skonie and give a brief hello. Staff congratulated him for how far he has come on his journey and shared support for his dream and goal to end childhood cancer.

Chef Jack Witherspoon proudly displays samples of Skonies before inviting Long Beach Medical Center and Miller Children’s & Women’s staff to try the sweet treat. 

“Our care teams and I are grateful for Jack and his outpouring of support for our hospitals,” says Ike Mmeje, chief operating officer, Long Beach Medical Center and Miller Children’s & Women’s. “Jack’s continuous efforts toward ending childhood cancer and supporting those who helped him beat his own cancer are admirable, especially during a global pandemic.”

Jack’s Skonies will be available for purchase in the hospitals’ cafeteria moving forward. A portion of the proceeds will support the Jonathan Jaques Children’s Cancer Institute in its fight against childhood cancer, and Jack’s dream.

Ike Mmeje (middle), chief operating officer, MemorialCare’s Long Beach Medical Center and Miller Children’s & Women’s and Susan Herman (right), chief nursing officer, Miller Children’s & Women’s, visit Jack’s table to thank him for his kindness and giving spirit.


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