Dylan Siegel is only 7 years old, but that hasn’t stopped him from raising $30,000 for a sick friend. When Dylan learned that Jonah Pournazarian suffered from glycogen storage disease type 1B, a rare liver disorder that does not yet have a cure, he jumped into action.
Siegel’s parents tell ABC News:
“We said, ‘Let’s do a lemonade stand, the typical thing,’ He looked at us and said, ‘I want to write a book.’”
Little Dylan wrote and illustrated the 16-page book titled Chocolate Bar, a term that he uses to refer to “cool” stuff.
The book starts with the sentence “Disneyland is so chocolate bar” and ends “I like to help my friends. That is the biggest chocolate bar.”
With the book raising $30,000 in just two weeks, the young man now hopes to bring in $1 million for research into 1B.
The campaign has been so successful that Whole Foods has donated hundreds of chocolate bars, and a book signing drew in 200 people at a local Barnes Noble.
Type 1B affects one in a million children. Because of his condition, Jonah can often only eat cornstarch mixed with chicken soup and vegetables. Jonah’s mother feeds him the mixture through a tube on a very strict schedule that includes waking up at 3:30 am. When other children are sick, Jonah must stay home from school in order to avoid an illness that can land him in the hospital for up to a weeks time.
All of the funds being raised by Dylan Siegel’s efforts are being sent to the University of Florida School of Medicine in Gainsville. Dr. David Weinstein is working towards a cure at that facility with 200 families.
In the meantime, a 7-year-old boy who just wanted to help a friend is exceeding everyone’s expectations.