After being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in Feb. 2011, during the highlight of his racing career, Ryan's approach in his life, career and goals in racing changed. After being told he would never race again and with a strong effort to continue on, Ryan found Dr. Anne Peters, MD of USC Clinical Diabetes Program in California, who confirmed that with hard work, Ryan could still reach his dreams of becoming a top NASCAR driver.
Determined not to give up his lifelong dream of being a NASCAR driver, Reed eventually found a supportive endocrinologist who was able to help him manage his diabetes and stay on track – literally. He hired a personal trainer and works out for two-four hours each day. He installed an onboard drink system in his car, using a specially formulated protein/carbohydrate/sugar blend his doctor developed for him. He monitors his blood glucose levels continuously during a race, which can go on for several hours. And, he had a member of his pit crew trained to deliver insulin to him on an emergency basis, should the need arise.
Ryan has found himself in a unique situation and is driven to become a role model in the diabetes community. Ryan Reed formed his nonprofit organization, Ryan’s Mission, to help build awareness, become a role model and positively touch the lives of so many that have already been affected by the disease.
Ryan and his Mission have joined forces with the American Diabetes Association. This unique collaboration with the Association to Drive to Stop Diabetes℠ will use Ryan’s story as the voice. The Drive to Stop Diabetes campaign will include awareness and educational efforts at select NASCAR Nationwide races this year, as well as at several off track health and wellness initiatives throughout 2013. The Drive to Stop Diabetes℠ mobile movement will focus attention to educating the community on all types of diabetes. The Drive to Stop Diabetes℠ campaign, through Ryan's Mission 501(c)3, will donate 100 percent of all net-proceeds to the Association.