I Love Someone with Diabetes: Karla Reed

Karla and Ryan ReedName: 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.

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13 Responses to I Love Someone with Diabetes: Karla Reed

  1. Erika Gonzalez says:

    That was so sweet.. I was diagnosed when i was 15, and it changed my life, and my family’s life. But i wish they felt the way you do about your child, my family feels bad but they see me as more of a burden. Keep doing what your doing, and make sure your son reads this article, because it’s beautiful = )

  2. Janelle Semmel says:

    my baby girl was diagnosed in 2011 when she was 11 years old. our lives will never be the same. she is also my hero and the strongest person i have ever known! she is an athlete and a straight A student. but i worry about her more than i ever thought i could. i also love a person with Diabetes! and we will continue to fight for a cure!!!

  3. Melissa says:

    I love this! Everything is so true. I was recently diagnosed with type 1 diabetes March 18,2015 @ age 28!
    My world has forever changed and I’m so thankful for my wonderful family! No one knows what it feels like Untill u walk in the other persons shoes! This is a everyday struggle and I worry so much and pray every night that I wake up the next morning; I have a 4 year old son who I worry about getting this disease. I hope one day they will find a cure! But I never knew how strong of a person I was till now; each day gets a little better and I have made such strides and its amazing what 2 months can do to a person!

  4. Gilnei Damiani says:

    I am Brazilian and father of a 22 year old diagnosed with diabetes when he was 10. PRINCIPLE, diagnosis threw us to the ground. But we learned to stand up and come out on top. Today my daughter graduated in Law, Lawyer and gives us a lesson in how to live life without the problems arising from diabetes. The key in all this Standing not let kill and at the same time not to let your blood sugar stays high. Living with high blood glucose does not mean having problems: but let it be high but can be a problem. She directs, works more than 50 kilometers from home and come alone.

  5. lynsquilts@comcast.net says:

    We are Grandparents of 6 year old Grandson who was diagnosed just 6 months ago during His first week of Kindergarten. We can relate to all of the above comments. This is definitely a “new norm” for all of us, especially our little Guy. We did our first JDRF Walk last week. We pray and feel confident that a cure is in the near future. We love Him more than words can say and will keep all of you in our thoughts and prayers!

    • Shelley says:

      we were diagnosed just before our son turned 6, a week before he started kindergarten! I know exactly where you are right now! At that age the first six months are the worst! Five years later he’s a pro, he has never looked back and never missed a single thing he’s wanted to do. Sending prayers and good karma your way. The worst is behind you!

  6. Emily McClelland says:

    Thank you for writing this. It is very encouraging. My son was diagnosed at 10 months old. He is now six and is a big NASCAR fan. Thank you for all you do in helping to raise awareness and support to help find a cure for diabetes.

  7. Allison Moats says:

    I love someone with diabetes. My nephew was diagnosed at 9. Everything changed in a heartbeat. Meal planning, finger sticks, and a million other things. I felt like the world had stopped turning. I went to the hospital and was feeling so sorry for him and for myself. Then I saw a tiny girl (maybe 3 years old) learning to walk with a cane because she was battling leukemia for the second time. That brought me out of my depression. Diabetes is horrible but can be managed. I learned to cook differently, to shop differently, and what to do when an extreme low occurs. I learned how strong a 9 year old boy could be. He amazes still today at the age of 17. He met Ryan in Bristol and what a blessing that was. Your son is doing great things for the diabetic community. God bless him and God bless everyone that loves someone with diabetes!

  8. Dustin Rogers says:

    My 1 year old daughter was diagnosed @ 9 months old. Your son Ryan will be an inspiration to her as she grows up with T1D. She will know that there is nothing she can”t do. Thank you and God bless Ryan and your family for all you do for the T1D community.

  9. Maggie Hackler says:

    My daughter was diagnosed at age 12 in 2007. She will be 20 soon, and is doing well on a pump but always a struggle to try and get her A1C at 7 or lower. It changed our lives forever, and most friends, family and acquaintances never fully understand what you are going through every single day when you love someone with Type 1 diabetes.

  10. Jennifer Marchetti says:

    I love someone with diabetes, my 2 yr old daughter. She was diagnosed April 12, 2015. We will never forget that day…the day our lives were changed forever! I never knew about T1D until that day. I now have such a respect for ALL of those dealing with this disease. It’s an everyday, every hour, every minute disease. It’s articles and comments like these that help me feel not so alone in dealing with this battle!!

  11. Michelle Thomas says:

    I loved reading your comment. I also love someone with Diabetes, my son Joshua. He was diagnosed in 2007 at the age of 13, our lives changed forever. We celebrate his life everyday, cause the next day could not be as good as the day before. I love everything about my sweet child, from helping him with shots, counting carbs and even down to the sleepless nights. We will fight until there is a cure!

  12. bunni doyle says:

    My granddaughter was diagnosed 2 1/2 years ago when she was 3 1/2. I know all the work that goes into managing diabetes. I saw Ryan’s story in the Diabetes magazine. I am so impressed with how he has choosen to decomes a spokesman for diabetes.he is a great insperation. Every week I pull up the NASCAR stars to see how he is doing. Safe racing.

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