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Sunday, May 9, 2021

Jasmine’s vision for kids recognised

Eleven-year-old Jasmine Seidel likes playing with LEGO, reading books, dancing and swimming.

She is in her final year of primary school and is looking forward to wearing next year’s blue high school uniform.

Unlike most pre-teens, however, Jasmine has a clear appreciation of how blessed she is, and it is this feeling of gratitude that spurs her to give to those less fortunate.

Foregoing birthday gifts, washing cars, hosting cake stalls, and reading thousands of pages to raise much-needed funds for various charities has seen the New Lambton Public School student nominated for this year’s Fred Hollows Junior Ambassador Award.

“I am really lucky,” Jasmine said. “I have two really good parents and a nice, safe place to live, and we’re all healthy.”

Jasmine was nominated for the award by her mother Angela, who says her efforts in raising in excess of $6,600 over the past five years was to be commended.

“It was approaching her seventh birthday and Jasmine said to me: ‘Mummy, I want a party but I don’t want presents, I want people to give a donation instead,'” Angela said.

“She wanted the money to go to the John Hunter Oncology Ward.

“They were appealing for funds to do some redecorating of the ward at the time.”

Unlike most children, Jasmine was no stranger to “The John”, her father working as an emergency doctor at the Hunter medical hub for many years.

“A couple of relatives in my family have had cancer and sadly they died from it. I wanted the kids who are there to have a really good life,” Jasmine said.

“If they live past the cancer, I want them to remember that at least their room was nice.”

Jasmine’s first encounter with the hospital was when her father took her to the pediatric ICU when she was just four years old.

Since then she has been passionate about following in her father’s footsteps and joining the medical profession.

“I want to work in emergency,” Jasmine said.

“As a doctor, or as a paramedic. I want to make sick kids better.”

As a family, the Seidel’s are long-time sponsors of children through international charity World Vision.

Jasmine’s fundraising efforts have also benefitted Heartkids Australia and Multiple Sclerosis Limited.

“Our community has benefitted from Jasmine’s enthusiasm, leadership, and creativity,” Angela said.

“She’s shown that there is always an opportunity for kindness, compassion and integrity and our use of these is only limited by our imagination.”

Jasmine is one of six Hunter children to be announced as a finalist in this year’s Fred Hollows Junior Ambassador Awards.

The winner will be announced in late November.

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