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9/11 firefighter’s kids make rare deal on emotional ‘Shark Tank’

There wasn’t a dry eye in the room when Kaley, Christian, and Keira Young pitched the Cup Board Pro on Shark Tank. The Cup Board Pro was invented by their father, Keith Young, who was a 2-time Chopped champion, competed in Rachael Ray’s “5 Alarm Cook Off,” and appeared in Throwdown With Bobby Flay. Keith was also a New York City firefighter who passed away earlier this year from cancer related to his cleanup work at Ground Zero after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. That struck a chord with guest shark, Matt Higgins, who was press secretary for New York mayor Rudy Giuliani at the time.

“I was at ground zero on 9/11, spent two years there during the cleanup working with the city,” Higgins said. “I met a lot of brave people like your dad and a lot of people who lost their lives, so it's great that you're doing this.”

At one point during the presentation, sharks Daymond John and Lori Greiner were visibly crying. The siblings explained that it was their dad’s dream to be on Shark Tank, but as he was developing the Cup Board Pro, he had to put his work on hold when their mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. She died in 2012. Besides being moved by the Young’s story, the sharks were also impressed with their product. After the sharks asked the Youngs to briefly leave the room, they invited them back in and did something extraordinary: All five sharks decided to work together on this, each pitching in 20%. And then the sharks did something even more surprising.

Mark Cuban told the Youngs, “Any profits that we earn from our 20%, we’re gonna contribute to whatever charity your dad supported for firemen that have been sick from 9/11.”