Dylan Siegel goes beyond what many first graders might do for a pal.
Siegel, a 6-year-old from Los Angeles, wrote a book called “Chocolate Bar” to raise money for research into what ails his best friend, Jonah Pournazarian. Jonah, 7, suffers from a one-in-a-million liver disease called glycogen storage disease type 1B.
There is no cure.
Sales of the book and chocolate bars donated by Whole Foods for the cause have exceeded $30,000, Dylan’s mom, Debra Siegel, told The Huffington Post on Tuesday. The donations, which will go to a research program at the University of Florida School of Medicine in Gainesville according to ABC, have the potential to grow rapidly in the wake of the boys’ appearance on CBS’s “The Doctors” last week.
“Chocolate bar” is Dylan-speak for “awesome,” which pretty much describes the campaign so far.
The attention that the young do-gooder has received exceeds what Mom and Dad foresaw when he pitched them the idea in October.
“As far as a 6-year-old can process it, it’s pretty exciting to him, seeing himself on TV,” his mom said to HuffPost. “[But] we’re not making that big a deal of it at home.”
At first, the parents suggested Dylan try a more conventional method of fund-raising (bake sale anyone?), but were shot down with don’t-patronize-me attitude, Debra confirmed. Then Dylan produced the first handwritten and illustrated pages within an hour. “Dylan actually gave us something to work with,” she recalled to HuffPost.
Debra, a professional organizer, and Dylan’s dad, David Siegel, a marketing executive for Disney, soon realized the book “would strike a chord,” she said.
The original volume sat on her desk while she dealt with a family emergency but as the boys’ “Good Deeds Day” at school approached in early November, Dylan stepped up his entreaties for Mom to copy the book. Finally, the big day arrived and the book sold $6,000 worth of copies and chocolate bars.
Source: Huffington Post