As a child, Sydney Martin loved collecting rocks from the shores of Lake Michigan and making them into necklaces for her friends and family.
At just 10 years old, Martin’s mother noticed some swelling on her cheek. After multiple tests and biopsies, Martin was diagnosed with Langerhans cell histiocytosis (LCH), a rare form of pediatric cancer. After six months of treatment via chemotherapy and steroids, she went into remission.
Recognizing that LCH is as common as pediatric lymphoma, but far less known, Martin saw a need and jumped into action, combining her design abilities with her desire to help others.
“I am so lucky to have come to Tulane and to have people in the community who take on my cause as their own.”
Sydney Martin, Tulane junior
Martin, now a junior in the Tulane University School of Liberal Arts, is founder of the Giving Rocks Foundation, through which she has raised more than $700,000 for pediatric cancer research. She used her personal childhood experience to create the nonprofit rock-jewelry project.
“I am so lucky to have come to Tulane and to have people in the community who take on my cause as their own,” said Martin, who double majors in psychology and dance.
Martin enjoys showcasing her jewelry at campus events.
The Giving Rocks Foundation currently sells necklaces and some apparel with 100 percent of the proceeds going to LCH research.
In the future, Martin said she hopes to take her work to a national level by selling in major department stores across the country.
Ally Frankel is a junior majoring in communication and English in the Tulane School of Liberal Arts.