American Diabetes Association® diabetes awareness ambassador Bedford Thaxton will ‘ride’ along with Roush Fenway Racing driver Ryan Reed during Friday night’s NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Richmond International Raceway (RIR). The Richmond, Va. resident will have his name featured on a decal above the passenger-side window on the No. 16 Lilly Diabetes/American Diabetes Association Ford Mustang.
Like Reed, Thaxton lives with diabetes and knows the importance of managing his diabetes through working with his doctor, diet and exercise. When he was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 1982, he made lifestyle changes, including more exercise and reduced carbohydrate intake, to manage his diabetes. Today, he enjoys walking in his neighborhood and on the treadmill, in addition to working out at the local YMCA three days a week.
“My routine helps me manage my diabetes, increase my energy level, improve some arthritis symptoms, and allows me to relax and feel good,” Thaxton says.
Thaxton has volunteered with the American Diabetes Association for the past 15 years, representing the Association at health fairs, community events and speaking engagements with various organizations discussing diabetes and spreading awareness. He currently serves at the grant coordinator for the Central Virginia Association’s Diabetes Education Program, working with community organizations and churches to schedule diabetes education workshops. In 2014, he was recognized as the American Diabetes Association of Central Virginia’s Volunteer of the Year.
“I encourage people with diabetes or prediabetes to understand their risk factors for type 2 diabetes and commit to changing the risk factors they can control,” said Thaxton. “Diabetes is a serious disease, however, you can live a great life with diabetes. You have to decide who’s in control: YOU or diabetes.”
Ryan Reed and the ‘Riding with Ryan’ program roll into RIR for the second time this season. In April, Reed finished 11th after starting 18th.
The NASCAR XFINITY Series takes the green flag from RIR on Friday, September 9th at 7:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN and MRN.