Dylan Siegel / Beverly Hills, CA

Dylan Siegel / Beverly Hills, CA

Dylan Siegel

Dylan’s best friend, Jonah, was diagnosed with glycogen storage disease type 1B, which is a rare liver disorder that doesn’t have a cure. Dylan decided he wanted to raise money for research to help his friend. He had a plan and approached his parents with it last Fall. His parents suggested that they have a lemonade stand, but Dylan told them he wanted to write a book and from there, the Chocolate Bar book was born. Dylan hand-wrote and hand-illustrated the 16-page book that uses “chocolate bar” in the place of the word, “cool;” as in, “Disneyland is so chocolate bar!” The book ends with Dylan’s quote, “I like to help my friends. That is the biggest chocolate bar!” At a school event last November, Dylan sold all 200 copies of his book and 100 chocolate bars in a matter of hours raising over $5,000. His book raised over $30,000 in its first two months on the market. Dylan and his parents set up a facebook page and a website where people can make donations, and purchase his book and other Chocolate Bar items. The donations came in from all over the country and the world. Whole Foods donated hundreds of chocolate bars to his effort. A local Barnes & Noble bookstore even hosted a book signing event that brought in over 200 people. All of this gained the attention of local and national media. To date, over 11,000 copies of Dylan’s book have been sold worldwide and over $400,000 has been raised towards Dylan’s goal of raising $1 million. All of the money goes to Jonah’s research fund at the University of Florida School of Medicine where Jonah’s doctor, GSD expert Dr. David Weinstein, is working towards a cure that will also have implications for other liver diseases as well as the kind that Jonah has. This is the first time that this disease has received national attention.

February 22, 2014