Local teen battles type 1 diabetes
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Eagle Staff Writer
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October 11, 2017
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Corbin Edge was selected as the 2017 Youth Ambassador for the Western Pennsylvania Diabetes Association.

EVANS CITY — Corbin Edge has lived with type 1 diabetes since he was 18-months-old. Now 13, Corbin is raising money to battle the disease and speaking out to encourage others to do the same.

Corbin of Evans City was selected as the 2017-18 Youth Ambassador for the Western Pennsylvania Diabetes Association. He was the keynote speaker at Saturday’s Step Out Walk to Stop Diabetes in Pittsburgh, which raises money for the American Diabetes Association.

“I want to help other kids dealing with diabetes,” he said.

Corbin has raised more than $17,500 over the last few years for the American Diabetes Association. Nanet Edge, His mother, said he wanted to start raising money for the association several years ago so they brainstormed ways to do it.

They’ve sold hoagies, held chicken dinners and hosted a large basket raffle for the past three years.

Corbin takes the lead on most of the fundraisers, Nanet Edge said. He approaches business owners to donate baskets and items for the raffle that goes off at Evans City’s Oktoberfest. This year they got 75 baskets and raised more than $4,000 from the raffle, she said.

“This was his doing,” Nanet Edge said. “I said, ‘if you want to do baskets, I’ll drive you but you’re going to have to go in and speak.’ I didn’t know how he’d do public speaking in front of people. He said, ‘that doesn’t bother me.’”

Corbin was 18-months-old when he was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, which used to be called juvenile diabetes. With type 1, the body does not produce insulin to help break down glucose.

His diagnosis came after with a health scare that left Corbin in a hospital intensive care unit. Nanet Edge said they were visiting family and she noticed Corbin had been urinating frequently and extremely thirsty, but he seemed to recover when they got back home.

Then he turned gray and had no strength to stand, so his father took him to the emergency room where he was diagnosed with strep throat, she said. He stayed to get blood work results back, which revealed the real issue.

His blood sugar level was more than 1,200, Nanet Edge said, and he was in full diabetic ketoacidosis, a condition that can lead to diabetic coma or death. A normal blood sugar level is 80 to 100, she said.

“Our lives changed that day,” she said.

After he recovered, Corbin had to have his blood sugar checked 10 to 12 times a day and receive insulin shots 10 to 12 times a day, his mother said.

Now Corbin, who is a seventh grader at Seneca Valley Middle School, has an insulin pump. He still has to get his blood sugar levels tested throughout the day, but for the most part he lives the life of any other seventh grader.

He plays football for the Seneca Valley Raiders in the fall and also plays hockey and baseball. He also goes each year to the American Diabetes Association summer camp to spend time with other kids like him.

As the Youth Ambassador for the American Diabetes Association, he speaks to crowds at various events, telling his story, how he’s grown up with diabetes, how it has affected his life and how he raises money to help others like him.

Corbin said he’s excited to have been named the Youth Ambassador and enjoys speaking to people about the disease that changed his life.

“I talk about how to encourage people to help diabetes and help kids dealing with it,” he said. “It’s really exciting.”