Sick Girl Raises Big Money, “I Can Help Other Kids”

11-year old raises almost $50,000 for charity

Like many girls her age, Wilmette resident Sydney Martin loves to make jewelry.  However, unlike other 11-year-olds, she has  charitable plans for the necklaces she crafts.

In only six months, and with the help of her girlfriends, Sydney has raised just under $50,000.

The medical condition that has captured Sydney's heart is a rare blood disease called Langerhan's Cell Histiocytosis, or LCH.

Six months ago, Sydney was diagnosed with the disease that is caused by an excess of white blood cells.

Histiocytosis affects one in 200,000 children each year in the U.S. The cause of the disease is unknown, although some speculate it is a reaction to environmental factors.

Instead of turning inward, Sydney fought back against the disease by making jewelry under the name of Syd Rocks for LCH.

Sydney always had planned to use the money for "something important" she says, and now she knows exactly what that is.

Sydney plans to keep making and selling her rock necklaces until a cure is found for LCH.

"Making and selling my necklaces helped me through a difficult time," Sydney said. "I feel good knowing I can help other kids with Histiocytosis."

The necklaces, each signed by Sydney, sell for $15 and are available online at the histio-eStore and at Highland Park's E Street Denim Company.

Sydney's parents, Tracy and Brad Martin said that 100 percent of the money raised from selling jewelry and T-shirts will go to research.

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