CONCORD, N.C. (Aug. 11, 2014) – Roush Fenway Racing’s Ryan Reed was told that he would never race again after he was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Instead of giving up on his lifelong dream, Reed found a doctor that believed he could continue racing and took the necessary steps to do so. This weekend for the Nationwide Children’s Hospital 200 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Reed is paired with Dalton Miller, who shares a unique connection to the driver.
Miller, who is nine years old and hails from Newark, Ohio, was recently diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Miller’s name and image will appear on the No. 16 American Diabetes Association Drive to Stop DiabetesSM presented by Lilly Diabetes Ford Mustang this weekend as a part of the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Patient Champion program.
“I think what the Nationwide Children’s Hospital is doing this weekend is really cool,” said Reed. “It’s an awesome experience for all of these children and their families. Dalton and I share a really special connection, since we both have type 1 diabetes. I’m excited that he will get to see up close that diabetes does not have to stop you from pursuing your dreams. I’m grateful to be associated with organizations like the American Diabetes Association and Lilly Diabetes, who care so much about spreading that message. It’s really what the whole Drive to Stop Diabetes platform is all about.”
Miller and Reed share something else in common too. Neither let a diabetes diagnosis slow them down. Miller’s hobbies include football and baseball, and the nine-year-old aspires to be a firefighter. While he thinks it is “awesome” to have his face on the No. 16 Mustang, Miller is most excited to see Ryan race.
“It gives me hope,” said Miller. “That I can do anything.”
Nine other NNS teams are also participating in the Patient Champion program, including fellow Roush Fenway teammates Chris Buescher and Trevor Bayne.
The Nationwide Children’s Hospital 200 will air live on ESPN at 2:45 p.m. ET on Aug. 16.