This 13-Year-Old Has a Cure for Hiccups
And guess what? It’s a lollipop
Mother of invention, meet your daughter. Mallory Kievman may be on the cusp of resolving one of life’s most stubborn mysteries, right up there with black holes, Stonehenge, and what that thing is on top of Donald Trump’s head. The 13-year-old has cooked up a cure for the hiccups.
Mallory’s hiccup stopper comes in the form of a lollipop she calls the Hiccupop. Her idea for this little sucker graduated from cute to commercial at an invention convention in Connecticut. You may already be familiar with invention conventions as grade-school events where kids display their creative designs for things like the Automatic Bed Maker or The Annoying Brother Shutter Upper (patents pending). But Mallory isn’t messing around. She wants to be a doctor someday and has a particular Hiccupop user in mind: cancer patients, she has sensitively noted, are often beset with hiccups as a side effect of chemotherapy. At a more formal convention near her home in Manchester, Conn., Mallory met up with financiers who wanted to back her idea and help her bring it to market.
There are still challenges ahead for young Mallory, but according to the New York Times she’s enlisting a team of MBA students to develop her company, with the teen entrepreneur remaining at the helm. In addition to being CEO, she’s the head of Research & Development — with a little assistance from her dad, she’s been tweaking her recipe in the kitchen at home. Hiccupop’s admixture of lollipops, apple cider vinegar and sugar needs to be more palatable, she says, but the combination of ingredients seems to affect the nerves in the throat and mouth believed to cause the hiccup reflex. “It basically over-stimulates those nerves and cancels out the message to hiccup,” Mallory told the Times.
What about product testing? Imagine the boardrooms of angel investors, where suited millionaires sit patiently around a conference table for hours, a box of lollipops on the table, just waiting for someone to get a case of the hiccups. Hiccupops have the mark of many great, and greatly successful, products: an innovation that addresses a common need with a simple solution. If Mallory's pops work, they’ll be worth the wait.
Photo: Andrew Sullivan
There is no shortage of home remedies for hiccups... but, that's just it, these are HOME remedies!
As someone with a loved one who underwent a bone marrow transplant, I imagine a pre-made, individually wrapped lollypop would be welcomed by nurses and patients in hospitals the world over.
In a hospital, it's all about what's readily available and what's easiest. Then you have to worry about what is sanitary, or suitable for patients with a compromised immune system - sipping a glass of water through a paper towel is definitely out of the question! Also, many patients are on a restricted diet or develop allergies during their treatment. And, of course, many treatments leave patients with a raw, dry mouth and throat - there goes trying to swallow peanut butter.
Keeping this in mind, these lollypops aren't so frivolous after all.
I've got to give it to this little kid. What guts and fortitude she must have? She actually came up with an idea to help cancer patients, people in pain, good for her and her invention! I am wishing her well in all her endeavors and success. People should be encouraging this young entrepreneur instead of doubting, discouraging, or saying that she won't do well. You are all obviously either Hating on a child's natural brilliance and talent or just too lazy to come up with a good idea yourself so you wish to bring everyone else around you down.
I say ROCK ON little lady and much success to you. You sound like an amazingly dedicated, determined young woman who will go far. Keep those bright ideas coming!
inspire: live a better life
Editor's note: We will now be publishing Miss Manners articles twice weekly, but you will only see one question and answer per article. You can expect to see these articles appear on Tuesdays and Thursdays going forward.
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