American Diabetes Association Youth Ambassador Melissa Pardock To ‘Ride With Ryan’

CONCORD, N.C. (May 11, 2015) – American Diabetes Association Youth Ambassador Melissa Pardock will ride along with Roush Fenway Racing driver Ryan Reed during Sunday’s NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Iowa Speedway. The No. 16 Lilly Diabetes American Diabetes Association Ford Mustang will carry Pardock’s name above the passenger-side window to recognize her efforts to inspire other kids living with type 1 diabetes.

Pardock, of Des Moines, Iowa, is an 11-year old student at Meredith Middle School who has been living with type 1 diabetes for over a year now. After her diagnosis, she was determined to continue to live a normal life and let other kids know that they can too. She has been an instrumental fundraiser for the American Diabetes Association’s Step Out®: Walk to Stop Diabetes® and speaks at additional fundraising events locally. She is currently hosting a walk at her school to raise diabetes awareness and promote healthy living.

“I took the diagnosis pretty well at first, but later on, I got pretty down which the nurses at my doctor’s office said was normal for kids my age,” said Pardock. “After a while, I realized my life didn’t have to change that much, it was just a minor setback, I could still do the things a kid that isn’t living with diabetes could do.”

Like Reed, Pardock knows that staying active is very important for someone living with diabetes. For fun and for exercise, Pardock enjoys swimming and is a member of the Northwest Sharks Swim Club. She also enjoys playing the clarinet and singing in her church choir.

After a week off, Ryan Reed and the ‘Riding with Ryan’ program roll into Iowa Speedway this weekend for the season’s only Sunday-afternoon event. The name of a Youth Ambassador will be featured on the No. 16 Ford Mustang each weekend for the remainder of the 2015 season.

“It’s so cool to see how well Melissa took her diagnosis and decided to spread awareness and encourage other kids that they can live a normal life,” said Reed. “Her positive attitude about living with the disease makes her a perfect candidate for the Riding with Ryan program and I’m happy we could recognize her through the Drive to Stop Diabetes® program this weekend at Iowa.”

The NASCAR XFINITY Series takes the green flag from Iowa Speedway on Sunday, May 17 at 1 p.m. CDT on Fox Sports 1 and MRN. 

About The American Diabetes Association

The American Diabetes Association is leading the fight to Stop Diabetes and its deadly consequences and fighting for those affected by diabetes. The Association funds research to prevent, cure and manage diabetes; delivers services to hundreds of communities; provides objective and credible information; and gives voice to those denied their rights because of diabetes. For the past 75 years, our mission has been to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes. For more information please call the American Diabetes Association at 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383) or visit www.diabetes.org. Information from both these sources is available in English and Spanish.

About Lilly Diabetes

Lilly has been a global leader in diabetes care since 1923, when we introduced the world’s first commercial insulin. Today we are building upon this heritage by working to meet the diverse needs of people with diabetes and those who care for them. Through research and collaboration, a broad and growing product portfolio and a continued determination to provide real solutions—from medicines to support programs and more—we strive to make life better for all those affected by diabetes around the world. For more information, visit www.lillydiabetes.com or follow us on Twitter: @LillyDiabetes.