After being diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in 2011, Ryan Reed and his family started Ryan’s Mission in Bakersfield, CA. The 501(c)(3) non-profit was founded to raise awareness about Type 1 diabetes. Through his foundation, Ryan’s family became involved in the diabetes community with the goal of giving back. Using their own time and resources, they worked around the clock to learn more and educate others about the disease. They learned that:
- Although formerly called juvenile diabetes, Type 1 diabetes affects both children and adults.
- Type 1 diabetes affects nearly 30 million people nationwide.
- Nearly three in four NASCAR fans are impacted by the disease.
As devotees of the sport began to learn more about Ryan, he also started to learn more about the presence of diabetes in the NASCAR community. He partnered with the American Diabetes Association (ADA) and Lilly Diabetes from 2013-2017 on the Drive to Stop Diabetes campaign to raise awareness of diabetes among fans. Starting with the 2018 season, Ryan and Lilly Diabetes are partnering on a new initiative for race fans called Drive Down A1C.
By providing inspiration, tools and resources, this movement strives to empower all Americans with diabetes to live well.
Supporting the Type 1 diabetes community
As a diabetic NASCAR driver, Ryan has found ways to manage the disease while also pursuing his driving career. Ryan is dedicated to providing support for those with diabetes. He attends JDRF and Beyond Type 1 events to promote awareness about Type 1 diabetes.
Ryan is particularly interested in supporting kids and young adults who have diabetes. You’ll find him visiting patients and giving inspirational speeches to help kids feel more comfortable living with Type 1 diabetes. Email us to learn more about how to get involved with Ryan’s Mission.