Corbin Edge, 15, of Evans City, Pa., an eighth-grader at Ryan Gloyer Middle School, raised more than $10,000 for diabetes patients and research last September by assembling and raffling off 75 gift baskets at his town’s Oktoberfest celebration. Corbin has been living with Type 1 diabetes since he was 18 months old. “Being so young, I didn’t realize what was going on or how things were going to change for me,” said Corbin. “I learned as I got older how it has affected my life, and I didn’t want other children to have to go through what I have.” After attending a camp for young diabetics, Corbin was inspired to raise money for the cause. He started out small, forming a team for a diabetes walk and just asking family and friends for donations. “That was successful for a while,” he said, “but I wanted to go bigger!”
After attending an event at his school and seeing how eager people were to buy raffle tickets for a chance to win a gift basket, Corbin decided to organize an “American Diabetes Basket Raffle” in his community. He drafted a letter about himself and his struggles with diabetes and took it to local businesses to solicit donations. The response was “overwhelming,” he said. Once he had collected or purchased items for his raffle, his family helped him organize them into 75 themed baskets. He set up tables to display the baskets and sell tickets, and two days later, he announced the winners, distributed the baskets, and counted his proceeds. “I had set the goal at $10,000,” said Corbin, “and when I reached that number, I screamed in excitement!” The money will be used to send young diabetics to a diabetes camp, and to pay for research into a cure, which is what Corbin wants most. “A life of no more shots or finger pricks,” he said hopefully.