The Student News Site of Tenafly High School

The Echo

The Student News Site of Tenafly High School

The Echo

The Student News Site of Tenafly High School

The Echo

Middle Schooler With Kidney Disease Strives to Set Guinness World Record


Dashel Prywes, a 6th grader at Tenafly Middle School, is trying to set the Guinness World Record for the tallest magnetic tile structure at GOAT Climbing Club in Hackensack to raise awareness of chronic kidney disease in children. Prywes was born with stage-three chronic kidney disease.

“With kidney disease myself, I know that if it’s very severe, you can only have things with very little salt,” Prwyes said. “The first time I tried bread without salt, it tasted like dust and sadness.”

According to Mr. Yaron Prywes, Prywes’s father, childhood kidney disease is so rare that there is almost no solid data on the number of children affected.  

“Childhood kidney disease is like a silent problem,” he said. “The kids who have it look perfectly healthy, you know, and sometimes they aren’t diagnosed until their kidney function is fleeting. That’s one of the reasons it’s important to raise awareness—because some people may not even think to check for it.”

However, hardships did not stop Prywes from exploring his adventurous nature and pursuing a project that may be the most ambitious one to happen in Tenafly history. “I was building with Magna-Tiles one day, and I reached my basement ceiling, and I wanted to go higher,” Prywes said. “Then, we realized we could break a record if we wanted to. And that’s when we started. We wanted to try and see how it worked.”

Prywes got the approval from Guinness World Records to attempt the tallest magnetic tile tower on June 6 as an open record. The committee has set the bar for the tower to be at least 15 meters. 

Latest design sketches of the tower

Prywes’s team attempted their first test build of a one-story scaffold on October 22. “We’re going to try [the second test build] at the middle school around Valentine’s Day,” Mr. Prywes said. “Then maybe in the spring, we’ll go for three stories. And in the summer, we’ll go for four. The vision is to go for the five story tower attempt—the official attempt— on labor day 2024 with photo documentation of our efforts.”

If they succeed in setting the record, Prywes and his family are planning on sharing their award with everyone who helped, as well as making attempts to break their record a tradition for the Tenafly community.

“It could become a fun thing to do every year,” Mr. Prywes said. “Maybe the engineering class can try to break the record every year [and] make it the Tenafly tradition. That way, every year, people are reminded about childhood kidney disease.” 

The Medical Students of the Future Club is collaborating with Prywes’s parents to help out with his project through fundraisers. 

“We had our first bake sale on December 1, and we raised over $100,” Kavya Chettur, the president of the Medical Students of the Future Club, said. “We’re going to be purchasing boxes and tiles for him with that money.” 

Currently, the club is holding a drive until December 22 for people to donate new or used Magna-Tiles to support Prywes’s project. Boxes for used or new tile donations can be found outside the student support leaders’ office or Mr. Devereaux’s room.

“We hope that, through helping Dashel’s project, we can teach other people about chronic kidney disease and spread awareness about it through world record efforts,” Chettur said.

Monetary and tile donations can also be made through Prywes’s website, where people can find regular updates on the tower’s progress. “The big six-inch square tiles are the most valuable for us right now,” Mr. Prywes said. 

Although Magna-Tiles are preferred, other tiles like PicassoTiles are also welcome for donation. 

Prywes and his team are also planning on contacting the marketing department of MAGNA-TILES. All assistance is appreciated.

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About the Contributors
Heeseo Yoon
Heeseo Yoon, Junior Editor
Heeseo Yoon ('25), Echo's Junior Editor, enjoys writing about world affairs and creating cartoons.
Guy Oelsner
Guy Oelsner, Guest Writer
Guy Oelsner ('26)  is very excited to write for The Echo. He likes writing about sports, major events, and big upcoming events. He also enjoys wrestling and hanging out with friends.