Boy, 6, writes book to save friend’s life

Boy, 6, writes book to save friend’s life


Saturday, Mar 02, 2013
The New Paper

They are the best of friends in primary school.

So when his chum needed help, Dylan Siegel jumped in.

At six, Dylan has produced a 16-page book called Chocolate Bar, a handwritten and illustrated story.

More than two months after putting his book on the market, he has managed to raise more than US$30,000 (S$37,150) from events, sales and donations made through Facebook and online.

The book uses the term chocolate bar as a synonym for awesome.

He came up with his book because his good friend Jonah Pournazarian, seven, suffers from a rare liver disorder with no known cure, the Daily Mail reported. Jonah often eats through a tube, sometimes corn starch or chicken soup with vegetables.

He is vulnerable too. He caught the flu last month and ended up in hospital for several days, his father, Mr Rabin Pournazarian, told ABC News.

National attention

Because of Dylan’s book, his son’s rare disease is receiving national attention for the first time, said MrPournazarian, who added that Jonah’s liver condition affects one in a million children.

Dylan’s father, Mr Davis Siegel, said his son is now working towards a million-dollar goal.

Mr Siegel said: “We never dreamed that this was going to happen. It’s just struck a nerve and now we don’t want to stop until we’ve hit our mission.”

When Dylan’s parents suggested that he try a more conventional fund-raising method, he “shot it down”, his mum Debra told the Huffington Post.

Then Dylan produced the first handwritten and illustrated pages within an hour.

“Dylan actually gave us something to work with,” the news website quoted her as saying.

Mrs Siegel, a professional organiser, and Mr Siegel, a marketing executive for Disney, soon realised the book “would strike a chord”, she said.

Finally, the big day arrived last November and the launch sold US$6,000 worth of copies and chocolate bars.

A book-signing by Dylan and Jonah at a popular LosAngeles mall generated another US$5,000 in book sales, she said. Other book sales, including online proceeds, raised an additional US$19,000.

The money raised will be sent to the University of Florida School of Medicine, where a team of researchers is working towards a cure.

Jonah’s parents set up a fund for their son six years ago which has raised US$400,000, mostly through donations from friends and family. But the couple said the Chocolate Bar is set to surpass that number.

Dylan summed up his effort on the Chocolate Bar website: “Helping my friend is the biggest chocolate bar.”

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (, the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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