What’s More Awesome Than Chocolate Bars?

When Dylan Siegel learned that his best friend had a rare liver disease in 2012, he decided to do something about it. He wrote a book called “Chocolate Bar,” because in his world, “that’s so chocolate bar” is a high form of praise. This is because Dylan was six years old.

Dylan  began selling copies of the book for $20 each to raise money to fight the disease.

When Dr. David Weinstein, who leads research on the disease, heard about Dylan’s plan, he thought it was a cute idea. But when sales of the book topped $400,000, Dr. Weinstein remarked,  “[Dylan has] raised more money for this disease than all the medical foundations and all the grants combined. Ever.”

The Global Genes Project, which advocates for rare disease research, honored Dylan and his friend with the RARE Champion Award—typically given to grown-ups. Dylan didn’t stop there. He designed other products for sale, and raised more than $1.5 million.  “Kids can change the world, just like any of us,” Dr. Weinstein told ABC News.

Watch this video of Dylan speaking at the Sandbox Summit USC.

Reflection

  • What mattered most to Dylan?
  • What broke his heart about it?
  • What did Dylan decide to do about it?
  • What challenge did Dylan say he faced in his quest to raise $1 million?
  • How did he overcome these obstacles?
  • What does Dylan hope to achieve next?

 

 

 

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Mark Moran is a seasoned Internet executive who has been CEO and Founder of SweetSearch since 2007. From 2012 to 2016, Mark was also co-founder of Choose2Matter, and has authored an online course about it. Mark was Executive Vice President and General Counsel of 24/7 Real Media from 1998 to 2007, from its pre-IPO through its sale to WPP. Prior to 24/7 Real Media, Mark spent four years as an associate Attorney at Proskauer Rose LLP and seven years as a Financial Analyst at the Bank of New York. Mark has a law degree from Fordham Law School, an M.B.A. in Finance from Fordham Graduate School of Business and a B.A. in Economics from the University of Virginia