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8-Year-Old Author’s Book Has Raised $900,000 To Help His Best Friend Fight A Rare Disease

chocolate bar besties

At 6 years old, Dylan Siegel decided he could change the world. Well, maybe not the whole world, but at least the life of his best friend, Jonah Pournazarian.  So far Dylan’s book “Chocolate Bar” has raised $900,000 to help Jonah.

Jonah has glycogen storage disease type 1b, or GSD, a rare genetic disorder that affects the liver of 1 in 1,000,000 newborns. Those with GSD lack the enzymes which enable the storage or release of glycogen, so the body must use riskier methods of supplying itself with energy. Thus, Jonah’s body is unable to digest sugars so he is fed a special formula through a tube in his stomach every day, and it’s more difficult for him to fight mild infections.  It is a tough thing to battle.

dylan and jonah bein goofy
Image via Chocolate Bar, The Book Facebook

Hurting for his friend, Dylan was determined to help Jonah find new methods to treat GSD.  So, he wrote a book to make a difference.

He entitled the book “Chocolate Bar,” and it has one simple idea in mind.  It focuses on a boy who believes his words and pictures can help his best friend deal with his disorder. [Dylan uses the phrase “chocolate bar” as a substitute for “awesome.”]  It is an inspiring story crafted by a brilliant-beyond-his-years 6 year old (yes, he was 6 when he wrote this) that promotes strength, triumph, love, and friendship.

But more than that, all of the proceeds from the book go towards a research fund in Jonah’s name.  Through this fund, Dr. David Weinstein from the University of Florida is using research for gene therapy to create new treatments for people with GSD.

Dylan’s goal is to raise $1 million for GSD research … and he’s almost there.  Over the past two years, he has collected over $900,000!

dylan and jonah chocolate bar book
Image via People Magazine

Now 8 years old, Dylan hopes to inspire other kids to believe that pursuing their ideas, no matter how big or crazy, can change the world. People from over 60 countries have supported Dylan’s mission by buying his book.

“Chocolate Bar” has also raised awareness for GSD–a disease that is increasing among children annualy. Because of their dedicated work, Dylan and Jonah won the first ever Young Philanthropist of the Year award from the University of Florida.

Dylan offered some simple advice to other youths with saying, “Don’t just think about what you wanna do, just do it, and if you want help, ask your parents and you can make anything happen.”  We can all learn from this brilliant little guy!

Here are some more pics of Jonah, Dylan, and their philanthropic “Chocolate Bar” book adventure:

chocolate bar book
Image via Chocolate Bar, The Book Facebook
dylan and jonah holding chocolate candy bars
Image via Chocolate Bar, The Book Facebook
dylan and jonah with dr weinstein
Image via Chocolate Bar, The Book Facebook
dylan and jonah at awards ceremony
Image via ABC News
young philanthropist of the year
Image via Chocolate Bar, The Book Facebook
dylan and jonah talk to news reporters
Image via Chocolate Bar, The Book Facebook
dylan and jonah best friends
Image via Chocolate Bar, The Book Facebook

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