Sydney, 13, started making rock necklaces when she was just eight years old. At age 10, she was diagnosed with LCH (Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis), and she decided to put 100% of the money from the necklaces she sells through her company, Sydrocks, toward medical research for the disease. "I wanted to come up with a way to help to find a cure and not just sit there helplessly," says Sydney. So far, Syd has donated over $105,000 to the Histiocytosis Association of America by selling her $15 necklaces. They come with just one rock each, but we advise piling them on like Syd does in the photo, for style and philanthropic purposes. We sat down with this very cool girl:
I Heart Daily: What is LCH and what do you want people to know about it? Syd: LCH is a rare blood disease that's treated with chemotherapy and steroids, and it affects 1 in 200,000 children per year. It has very little government funding so most of the money for research for the disease comes from fundraisers, which is why the more money I can raise, the better. I do not suffer from this disease anymore because, in my case, the treatments of chemotherapy and steroids where successful. But the treatment doesn't always work, and they are still looking for a better and easier cure for LCH.
IHD: How has your diagnosis of LCH affected your life? Syd: It has taught me that you can never take life for granted. And to try my best at everything I do. Last but not least, I've learned that my family and close friends will always be there for me no matter how hard the challenges in life become. I do not regret being diagnosed with LCH at all because it has made me a stronger and better person.
IHD: What was it about beach rocks that appealed to you? Syd: Every single one of them is unique and beautiful in its own way -- just like people. Rocks are also a symbol of strength because there is nothing more strong and earthy than a rock. It's something you can grab onto during challenging times.
IHD: How much money have you raised so far, and what are your goals for Sydrocks? Syd: I've raised over $105,000 for medical research to find a better cure for LCH. My goal is for Sydrocks to be sold in stores all over the U.S. -- I want to bring as much attention as possible to the disease so one day it can have government funding like most types of cancer do.
Now isn't this someone to join forces with on Facebook? We think so.