The complications from diabetes can be severe. In fact, diabetes is the leading cause of adult blindness in the United States and can also lead to amputations, heart attacks, strokes, and kidney disease. Diabetes causes 200,000 deaths annually in the United States, more than cancer and AIDS’s combined.
The nation spends $13,243 annually on each diabetic patient, compared to $2560 per person for people who do not have diabetes. Nearly 1 of every 10 dollars spent on Medicare go to address diabetes related expenses.
Andy Mandell, Mr. Diabetes®, diagnosed with diabetes in 1985 and now insulin dependent, and Executive Director of the Defeat Diabetes Foundation, knows from personal experience that diabetes is a multi-faceted and discouraging disease. He decided to fight back after being bedridden for two years and nearly succumbing to diabetes. He developed his own recovery program incorporating proper diet, exercise and medical monitoring. Based on his personal success Andy has decided to share his recovery process with the world by dedicating his life to inform and educate the public about the disease and the steps that need to be taken to prevent, manage and control Diabetes. His motto became “Awareness + Action = Prevention®”.
In 1990 Andy and his brother Jerry (also a diabetic), formed the Defeat Diabetes Foundation, a national 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. It included a vision for Andy to walk the perimeter of the United States, some 10,000+ miles, and inform anyone and everyone who would listen about the warning signs, dangers, and what can be done to prevent the disease, and what diabetics could do to minimize its complications. In 2008, Andy completed that 8 year journey.
Here is a great opportunity to inform your readers, viewers or listeners about the dangers of diabetes and the possibility for prevention, as well as being a great “human interest” story of a man with a significant disability overcoming the odds. Since Diabetes affects so many of us, either directly or indirectly, your audience will value a story about Mr. Diabetes®.
He is thoughtful, inspiring and highly informed on the subject.
“Diabetes doesn’t discriminate,” says Mandell. “Although some people are more at risk because of genetics, weight, fitness or other nutrition factors, there is also evidence to show that specific ethnic groups such as Native Americans, African-Americans, Latinos, Asians and Pacific Islanders are also at a higher risk for getting the disease than others,” he added.
“Even more troubling,” Andy continued, “is that for as many as 95% of the population, diabetes and its complications are preventable”, said Andy.
“There was a time when this disease nearly had me licked – but I’ve fought back through proper nutrition and exercise and, of course, proper medical monitoring. I want everyone to know that they can live a normal life with this disease. Together we can…Defeat Diabetes®.”