Name: Karla Reed
Location: Bakersfield, Calif.
I love someone with diabetes!
I love every ounce of this someone with diabetes. I love him when his A1C’s are at 5.3. I love him when he’s frustrated with a site change.
I love him when he’s writing a note to a fan telling them to never quit. I love him on the days he feels like quitting, but remembers fans are watching.
I love him when he’s eating insanely healthy. I love him that one day in the month when he feels like eating an entire bowl of bread pudding, but then remembers he only gets a bite.
I love him when he calls my husband for advice. I love him when he calls to tell me what advice Dad gave him.
I love him when he wins the NASCAR XFINITY Series Race in Daytona. I love him when he comes in 21st because he got caught up in a wreck.
This someone is my son, Ryan Reed. Ryan was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes on Feb. 7, 2011, when he was 17 years old. I don’t know that I’ve ever loved him more than I did on that day. I realized that, because of diabetes, I may not be able to hug him tomorrow. So as a family, we decided to love this someone with diabetes as hard as we could ever love.
Diabetes isn’t fun. It’s something that you’d never think would happen to your little boy. It’s expensive. It drains you. It makes you worry. It makes you second-guess everything you eat and drink. It forces Ryan to prick and poke himself all day. It made me lose a lot of sleep back in 2011—and it still does, sometimes.
But diabetes also made us push ourselves even harder as a family. It made us value our love of life and racing. It gave us the ability to start a movement. It wouldn’t let us give up. It wouldn’t let us stay quiet. It encouraged us to build relationships we would have never built. It reminded us why we fight every day.
It makes me smile with pride each weekend my son gets in the car, buckles up and races like crazy driving to Stop Diabetes®.
Learn more about the Reed family at DriveToStopDiabetes.org.