American Diabetes Association® representative and diabetes advocate Anne DePerty will ‘ride’ along with Roush Fenway Racing driver Ryan Reed during Friday night’s NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Daytona International Speedway (DIS). The Bradenton, Fla. resident will have her name featured on a decal above the passenger-side window on the No. 16 Lilly Diabetes/American Diabetes Association Ford Mustang.
Like Reed, DePerty lives with diabetes and knows the importance of staying healthy to manage her diabetes. She was diagnosed in 2010 while undergoing treatment for breast cancer. It was a scary time for her as she had recently lost her father to diabetes and knew managing the disease would be a lifelong commitment. DePerty committed that day to control her health by attending diabetes education classes and making diet and exercise a priority.
“I dusted off the old Huffy (bicycle) in my garage and started riding a few miles a day,” said DePerty. “Once I started enjoying my rides, I searched for organized rides and cycling clubs on the internet, and I stumbled across the Southwest Florida (American Diabetes Association) Tour de Cure®. I registered immediately and started fundraising for my ride.”
DePerty has been a top fundraiser for the Tour de Cure for the last five years and is an active member of the planning committee. Through her continued commitment to diet and exercise, she has lost nearly 50 pounds since her diagnosis and continues to add in new exercises to her weekly schedule. This weekend at DIS, she will have the opportunity to meet Reed and watch the race from atop the No. 16 Lilly Diabetes/American Diabetes Association pit box.
“Anne’s story is one of the most inspiring I have heard,” said Reed. “Her attitude towards her diagnosis while already fighting breast cancer is so moving. She’s a true testament to what you can do when you actively work with your doctor to manage your health and represents our Drive to Stop Diabetes program so well. I can’t wait to have her out to the track this weekend.”
Ryan Reed and the ‘Riding with Ryan’ program roll into DIS for the second time this season. Reed was victorious at the track in February 2015 and finished 16th earlier this season.