Boy, 6, raises money for diabetes

Published 9:03 am Friday, October 22, 2010

Six-year-old Ryan Edwards lives with juvenile diabetes.

Emily Edwards, 12, and her brother, Ryan, 6, recently sold 70 pumpkins to raise $140 for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Ryan has diabetes and will participate with his family in Walk for a Cure in Virginia Beach on Saturday, Oct. 23.

It means watching what he eats and wearing an insulin pump.

In hopes that other kids may one day need only a pill to keep their sugar in check, Ryan and his sister, Emily, recently sold pumpkins from their Franklin-area home to raise $140 for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. The siblings on Saturday, Oct. 23, will participate in the foundation’s Walk for a Cure in Virginia Beach.

They will be joined by their sister, Daisy, 8, and parents, Sandy and Brett Edwards. It will be the family’s third year to participate in the event, which is a one-mile walk on the boardwalk.

It was Ryan’s idea to sell pumpkins to raise money for the foundation, said Sandy, a registered nurse and the administrator for Southampton Memorial Home Health & Hospice in Franklin.

“He planted a pumpkin vine, and it only bloomed a few pumpkins,” she said.

Ryan’s aunt and Sandy’s sister, Trisia Lowe, and Trisia’s husband, Bob, of Sedley gave Ryan the pumpkins he needed from their garden.

Ryan and Emily spent two weeks selling them for $2 apiece from their home on Line Pine Road.

“We don’t have a lot of traffic,” Sandy said. “They sat at the end of our yard with a sign for two weekends — all day Saturday and Sunday — and after they got home from school.”

Ryan was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes at age 3. The family hopes to raise $500 for this year’s Walk for a Cure.

To make a donation, go to and click on the link to donate.

• Lois Orick stopped by The Tidewater News Thursday to let everyone now about an appreciation program that will be held for Roger Myrick Sr., who retired in June 1991 from Southampton County Public Schools after a 36-year career there. Myrick taught high school history and social studies.

“We want to honor him and say ‘thank you,’” said Orick, who graduated from Southampton High School in 1971.

The open house for students, family, friends, parents and co-workers will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 13, in the auditorium at Capron Elementary School on Route 58.

For information, call Orick at 757-377-6327 or 434-658-4800.

• The Red Hatters, also known as the Sparkles, celebrated its first anniversary on Oct. 16 at Virginia Diner in Wakefield. Members from Franklin, Southampton County and the surrounding areas who attended were Beddie Rawlings, Hattie Hollard, Thereta Ivery, Vianne Olds, Dorothy Carr, Gertrude Watson and Lula Barnes.

GWEN ALBERS is managing editor of The Tidewater News. Her e-mail address is