Defying the Limits
Ryan Reed—NASCAR Driver
Ryan Reed grew up in Bakersfield, California, watching his dad race and falling in love with the sport. His own racing career started early, when Ryan captured the Kid’s Kart Track Championship at age four. His success continued throughout his teen years, including being named 2010 Rookie of the Year in the Super Late Model Division at Toyota Speedway at Irwindale. And at age 17, Ryan became the youngest Super Late Model Winner in Toyota Speedway History.
In February 2011, just as his career was reaching new heights, Ryan received life-changing news: He was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes and told he would never race again. Instead of giving up, Reed found a doctor willing to work with him, who assured him that through hard work he could still race. Enlisting his medical team, personal trainer, and even pit crew, Ryan implemented lifestyle changes designed to help him manage his diabetes and stay on track.
To inspire others living with diabetes, Ryan then founded Ryan’s Mission, a non-profit organization that helps build awareness and touch the lives of those affected by diabetes. In 2013, Ryan and his Mission also joined forces with the American Diabetes Association and Lilly Diabetes on Drive to Stop Diabetes℠, a national campaign that brings awareness and diabetes education to thousands of spectators at NASCAR races nationwide.
“Ryan refused to accept that his diagnosis was the end to his dreams. Instead, he saw it as his personal challenge to go beyond and build awareness, become a role model, and give hope to all those affected by the disease,” said Mike Mason, vice president, U.S., Lilly Diabetes.
Today, Ryan inspires millions as the driver of the No. 16 American Diabetes Association Drive to Stop Diabetes℠ presented by Lilly Diabetes Ford Mustang.
“Obstacles aren’t in the way, they show the way. For me, life has no limits.” -Ryan