My Diabetes Pit Crew: The Uplifters

Cole Blog Head ShotToday’s guest blog comes from Cole Reed. Cole is Ryan Reed’s older brother.  He currently lives in San Luis Obispo, CA and is working on his college education.  He attends Cuesta College working on general studies. 

Everyone needs someone to lift them up when they’re feeling down. With NASCAR and diabetes, I’ve found it’s no different.

When my brother, Ryan Reed, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 2011, it really scared me. He had always been really healthy and I didn’t understand how he could get this disease. As a big brother, you always want to protect your younger siblings and I couldn’t protect Ryan from this. As I learned more and more about how Ryan would have to manage his diabetes on a constant basis, I worried that his dreams of becoming a racecar driver might not be possible.

That worry quickly diminished when I saw how determined Ryan was. That instant, I knew I could be a source of support for Ryan. Learning to manage diabetes day in and day out was going to be tough, but Ryan knew that our entire family was there for him.

I try to support Ryan in making the right choices off the track. Whether it’s just making him laugh or being a person to confide in, Ryan knows he can always count on me. No matter how Ryan does on the track, he knows that I’m going to be there to lift him up and never let him down.

I like to think of my role on Ryan’s support team as similar to the Jack Man on Ryan’s NASCAR pit crew, Mike Brown. He lifts Ryan up in a literal sense during pit stops and I lift Ryan up figuratively when he needs a break off the track. To see more watch this episode of the My Diabetes Pit Crew video series: