type 1 diabetes

Ryan Reed, who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes four years ago, has taken his first NASCAR XFINITY series win at the Daytona International Speedway.

The win comes in Ryan’s 40th race and sees him top the NASCAR XFINITY standings. The race was no mean feat to win. Reed, who started in 8th place, made up for a late setback in the race by overtaking a number of cars within the last few laps before ultimately passing Brad Keselowski in the very last lap to take the victory.

Drive to Stop Diabetes

As well as being a very hard fought personal accomplishment, the victory also marks a big triumph for diabetes. Reed’s number 16 Ford Mustang is emblazoned with the American Diabetes Association’s ‘Drive to Stop Diabetes’ campaign which helps raise awareness of the condition. The win for Reed, and his standing as series leader, pushes the campaign, which is in partnership with pharmaceutical firm Lilly, to the forefront of the race-watching public’s attention.

Braving the tarmac

Type 1 diabetes is a demanding condition to manage and add to this the demands of top level motor racing, and Ryan’s tremendous achievement becomes apparent. Races take a number of hours to complete and one slip of attention can lead to anything from a lost position to a dangerous accident.

In Ryan’s case, there is an additional threat of danger as if his blood glucose levels were to drop too low during the race it could endanger him and other drivers. Being fully aware of this danger, Ryan’s team have developed ways to ensure his glucose levels do not become too low or too high during race conditions, including having a Dexcom G4 Platinum continuous glucose monitor to allow him and his team to stay on top of his sugar levels.

Beating the odds

In his post-race interview, Ryan spoke about beating the expectations people had when he was first diagnosed with diabetes: “I can’t thank everyone who stood behind me through my Type 1 diabetes diagnosis four years ago. I was told I wouldn’t race and now we are standing in victory lane at Daytona.”