Ryan Reed helping raise awareness for the Diabetes Alert sticker

From left to right: Jim Perkins, Wellmont Health; Lt. Justin Branson, Bristol PD; Julie Williams, Lilly Diabetes; Ryan Reed; Kevin Triplett, Bristol Motor Speedway

Roush Fenway Racing’s Ryan Reed will carry a special decal and even more important message on his No. 16 Ford during Saturday’s NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway.

The winner of the season-opening race at Daytona International Speedway has partnered with Wellmont Diabetes Treatment Centers and law enforcement agencies to help promote the Diabetes Alert sticker.

Reed, who was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when he was 17-years-old, will carry the sticker on the C-post of his car running from the roof to the top of the rear quarter panel.

The Diabetes Alert sticker is used to ensure motorists dealing a diabetes emergency will receive the care needed. Those suffering from the disease place the sticker on the rear windshield of their vehicle to allow law enforcement officers investigating a case of impaired driving to look into a possible issue with the motorist’s diabetes. Often, those experiencing an emergency related to diabetes appear to have the symptoms of someone driving while impaired.

"As a professional driver living with diabetes, I know the dangers of having a high or low blood sugar episode while behind the wheel," said Reed. "I have systems in place to deal with such an event during a race, including a member of my pit crew who is trained to give me an insulin injection at a pit stop. However, most drivers with diabetes don’t have that luxury. That’s why the Diabetes Alert sticker is such a valuable tool to ensure no time is wasted in getting a person with diabetes the help they need in the event of such an episode."

By running the sticker on Reed’s No. 16 Lilly Diabetes American Diabetes Association Ford, the program is gaining national attention. Stickers are available at about 25 locations across the state of Tennessee, but those looking to get a sticker need to first have a prescription from a doctor.

"We are grateful to NASCAR, Lilly Diabetes, the American Diabetes Association and Roush Fenway Racing for spotlighting our sticker on a national stage and highlighting the importance of quick intervention for those in need," said Jim Perkins, director of the Diabetes Treatment Centers. "Law enforcement agencies throughout Tennessee have been extremely supportive of this initiative, and putting the sticker on Ryan’s car in this race provides additional validation of its public safety and health benefits."