OXFORD, Iowa (AP) _ A 10-year-old fifth grader is asking New Yorkers for quarters to help him become a doctor and find a cure for the diabetes that killed his grandmother and is sapping the health of his grandfather.

Tony Brack sent $10 and this handwritten letter to the New York Daily News:

''Dear Sir,

''Can you please print this for me. I hope this $10 will help the cost for 1 or 2 days in your newspaper.

''HELP

''I am 10 years old and want to go to college when I grow up. My grandma died 3 weeks ago from diabetes at 56 years young. I want to find a cure for diabetes as my other grandpa has it to. Please send a 25 (cents) and it will grow in the bank until then. Thank you.

''Tony Brack

''Box 191

''Oxford, Iowa 52322''

The $10 was not enough to cover the cost of a New York Daily News advertisement, but Tony got his picture and a story about his plea on page two of Sunday's Daily News.

Tony was extraordinarily close to his grandmother, Joyce Brack, said his mother, Dianna Brack.

Since both his parents work, Tony went to his grandmother's house, about four blocks from home, every day after school.

The elder Mrs. Brack, 56, had undergone the amputation of one leg in January and her eyesight was failing, but she seemed to be doing well under the circumstances, the family said.

She died Feb. 1, just hours after having dinner with Tony's family.

A couple of weeks later, Tony decided something must be done about diabetes and that he could be the one to do it.

The idea of making a public request for funds came from the syndicated newspaper column of Bob Greene, who wrote about a college student who gathered thousands of dollars by asking for one penny from every person who read Greene's column.

''He's very serious about becoming a doctor and doing something about diabetes,'' his mother said. ''He's a nice, sensitive kid who thinks about people other than himself.''

Tony told the Daily News: ''I want to go to the University of Iowa and train to be a doctor. Then I can help stop these bad things happening.''