Syd Rocks necklaces for a cure

Sydney Martin was an ordinary kid who enjoyed making necklaces with the rocks she found around Lake Michigan. When, at the age of 10, she was diagnosed with a rare blood disease called Langerhan’s Cell Histiocytosis, she found a fundraising purpose for her business, Syd Rocks. Since then, she’s raised 98,600 dollars.


LCH is similar to cancer, and Sydney underwent chemotherapy to treat the illness. She is now healthy, and devoted to raising money for this cause until a cure is found for LCH.


What was your experience like with LCH?

When I was 10, my mom noticed some swelling in my cheek bone and she took me to my pediatrician and he thought it was a regular sinus infection. Two weeks later we came back because the medicine did not work.

He sent me to get a CT scan which showed an unknown lesion in my cheek. After two biopsies in two weeks I was diagnosed with LCH. For me, being diagnosed was by far the most scary part.

For six months I had to take horrible disgusting medicines and frequently go to the doctor, but it was worth it because I have been disease free for three years now! I was very lucky, but in other cases the disease can be much more complicated.

When you made your first rock necklace for fun, did you ever think you would turn it into a business?

When I first started making rock necklaces, I was eight years old. I thought it was fun to find the rocks, they were fun to make and they were super cute! I sold them to my friends and family so it was somewhat of a for-profit business.

I had always wanted to find a cause that was that important to me that I could raise money for it with the necklaces. I had no clue the amount of money that would eventually come from the necklaces would make such an impact on my life and many others.

What are your other interests?

Outside of my fundraising project, Syd Rocks, I enjoy taking dance classes, being on my school's cheerleading team, listening to Taylor Swift and hanging out with my friends.

Are there any words of encouragement you can offer to other young girls?

I want to inspire other girls just like me to find a cause that is very important to them and do whatever they can to help it because all the time, money and effort that is put into charity work makes a huge difference and it makes you feel great.

Whenever you are going through a really rough time in your life, make the best of it by doing something to give back. That’s where the saying "turn lemons into lemonade" comes from.

Is there anything you want to share about LCH that people may not know?

LCH is a rare blood disease that affects one in 200,000 children per year. The disease can affect your organs, skin and bone (in my case it was a lesion in my right cheek bone). It is treated with chemotherapy and steroids—the same medicines used to treat most cancers.

Sometimes the treatment doesn't work so they move on to another treatment, but in some cases nothing works and it can end up being fatal. There is no government funding for LCH, so every penny counts.

Wanna purchase Sydney’s necklaces and T-shirts? Check out her website.


by Lindsay Scarff | 2/1/2016