Shalom Life | November 08, 2014

Breakthrough Jew - Dylan Siegel

This incredible 7 year old boy has raised over $600,000 for his best friend's rare disease

By: Sarah Bauder

Published: March 6th, 2014 in Culture » Society » News

Hot, hip, and heady, the next wave of Jewish artists and influencers has already arrived. This is Breakthrough Jew, your weekly showcase of those on the verge of discovery and ready to be a regular figure in pop culture; setting trends, redefining genres, and simply getting it done-whatever ‘it’ is. These days, it’s not enough to know what’s hot now; you need to catch someone when they’re just starting to simmer.

Featuring those in film, fashion, food, and beyond, we’ll find the story before substance is obscured by style, before hype meets backlash, and before talent and purpose gets lost in a maze of Internet chatter. See an artist in the cozy bar before they hit the amphitheater, dine at a chef’s new restaurant before the line begins, and catch a young writer’s work before the demands of ratings and longevity encroach.

Follow our lead and we’ll follow yours – send us tips or suggestions via email, comment below or tweet us @ShalomLife, as we explore the Jewish landscape for pop culture pioneers.

Name: Dylan Siegel

Age: 7

Hometown: Los Angeles, California

Breakthrough Cred: Wrote Chocolate Bar, a book to raise money to find a cure for his best friend’s rare genetic disease.

There is certainly hope for us all, with the likes of Dylan Siegel in this world.

The 7-year-old (yes, that’s correct) is a testament to the power of friendship, kindness, and our capacity to change the world for the better. Dylan’s best friend since pre-school, Jonah Pournazarian, 8, suffers from the extremely rare liver disorder, Glycogen Storage Disease Type 1b.

Those born with the disease lack the liver enzyme that turns glycogen into glucose, essentially making them unable to regulate their blood sugar. Dangerously low blood sugar can prove fatal. Presently, there is no cure for disease.

The only known treatment is a combination of water and cornstarch, which must be consumed every three to four hours. The latter is difficult to digest, and releases glucose into the blood slowly. Jonah must be fed carefully measured doses of cornstarch and water through a feeding tube in his stomach every few hours, lest his blood sugar drops to dangerously low levels.

The pre-eminent researcher on Glycogen Storage Disease is Jonah’s physician, Dr. David Weinstein, of the University of Florida. At one point, funding for the Weinstein’s research nearly ended – that’s when Dylan stepped in.

“I wanted to help my friend, so I wrote a book,” was Dylan’s pithy explanation to Fox News' Fox & Friends in 2013.

Said book titled, Chocolate Bar Book, essentially means “awesome” to Dylan – he describes his friendship with Jonah as “awesome as a chocolate bar”. All proceeds of the book are donated to fund Dr. Weinstein’s research to find a cure for Glycogen Storage Disease Type 1b.

To date, Chocolate Bar Book has sold over 11,000 copies worldwide, and generated over $600,000.

Your Chance to Meet Adam Lambert & Queen Your Chance to Meet Adam Lambert & Queen TrendingBreakthrough Jew - Nicola Peltz Breakthrough Jew - Nicola Peltz TrendingJ.J. Abrams’ ‘Star Wars’ Finally Has a Title J.J. Abrams’ ‘Star Wars’ Finally Has a Title Trending
 

Newly Elected Toronto Mayor John Tory Is Actually Jewish

November 07, 2014 | By Sara Torvik
Newly Elected Toronto Mayor John Tory Is Actually Jewish

A member of the United Church, Tory's maternal grandmother is Jewish, meaning he's a member of the tribe according to religious law

Read More

Major Lazer Team Up with Ezra Koenig on "Vegan Vampire" [VIDEO]

November 07, 2014 | By Sara Torvik
Major Lazer Team Up with Ezra Koenig on "Vegan Vampire" [VIDEO]

In Diplo's new FXX cartoon show, the Vampire Weekend frontman will play an animated version of a vegan vampire

Read More

Nissan Enlists Maroon 5 For New Ad

November 07, 2014 | By Sara Torvik
Nissan Enlists Maroon 5 For New Ad

"We just want to see Maroon in every car commercial," says the band's manager

Read More

Your Chance to Meet Adam Lambert & Queen

November 07, 2014 | By Sara Torvik
Your Chance to Meet Adam Lambert & Queen

The band have teamed up with RED to help raise awareness and eliminate HIV/AIDS in Africa

Read More

Top U.S. General Says Israel ‘Went to Extraordinary Lengths’ to Limit Gaza Casualties

November 07, 2014 | By JNS.org
Top U.S. General Says Israel ‘Went to Extraordinary Lengths’ to Limit Gaza Casualties

America's highest-ranking military office lauded the IDF for its efforts in Operation Protective Edge

Read More

Alicia Keys Congratulates Israeli Singer Idan Raichel for MTV Award, Calls Him An Inspiration

November 07, 2014 | By Daniel Koren
Alicia Keys Congratulates Israeli Singer Idan Raichel for MTV Award, Calls Him An Inspiration

"You are an incredible human being and you inspire me all the time"

Read More

Visa Issue May Thwart Indiana's Plans of Signing Mekel

November 07, 2014 | By Daniel Koren
Visa Issue May Thwart Indiana's Plans of Signing Mekel

A procedural delay may stop the Israeli point guard from joining the Pacers

Read More

Ten Extraordinary Tastes from Israel

November 07, 2014 | By Viva Sarah Press
Ten Extraordinary Tastes from Israel

Try the best baklava, chocolate, marzipan, halva, challah, bourekas and other mouthwatering treats that Israel has to offer

Read More

More Headlines