A Message of Hope this Father's Day

photoMark Reed was born in Bakersfield, CA and is the father of 2 boys, Cole and Ryan. Ryan was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at the age of 17.  Mark currently resides in Bakersfield, CA with his wife Karla, where they own several businesses.  In addition to his business interest, Mark is heavily involved with Ryan’s work to promote diabetes awareness through ADA's Drive to Stop Diabetes presented by Lilly Diabetes platform. 

 I remember Ryan’s diagnosis as if was yesterday.  Hopeless is the best word to describe what I was feeling.  As a father and a husband, solving problems is what we do.  Then, in an instant our world changed and there was nothing I could do to stop it.  The immediate effects it had on our family were the toughest to deal with, and my poor wife was a wreck.  Oh ya, there was Ryan our youngest son, just diagnosed with T1D who pulled us all back together and said “we will get through this and I will race again!”  Through Ryan’s commitment to beat diabetes, we found Dr. Anne Peters, who not only gave us hope but the tools, and education to help manage this horrible disease. 

After a few months of living with T1D, Ryan was able to get back on the race track and he just seemed different; mature and more focused than ever.  In no time, Ryan was receiving emails from people living with diabetes wanting to meet him and ask questions as to how he manages his diabetes in the car.  Ryan then decided to start Ryan’s Mission to simply encourage people not to give up and keep chasing their dreams. His mother and I were all in from day one! 

It’s hard for me to believe Ryan’s Mission has grown from an idea into a national American Diabetes Association platform, Drive to Stop Diabetes presented by Lilly Diabetes!  We are now part of a special family and I want to wish all of the dads out there, Happy Father’s Day. Remember: Accept no limits and let’s keep fighting to stop diabetes.