What would possess a man
with a birth date of 4/23/1945 to pack-up his life one day
and start on a walking journey of over 10,000 miles taking
him completely around the United States, not to return home
again for over three years? During this walk he will be
submitting himself to every conceivable weather condition;
sweltering heat, freezing cold, rain, snow, wind, blowing
sand; totally giving himself to the elements.
Add to this the man is severely diabetic. He nearly died
from the disease and has had to learn to walk again as a
result of the disease.
What kind of man would do this? Who would intentionally
put himself in this position? His name is Andrew P. Mandell,
also known as Mr. Diabetes®. As Andy Mandell he is the
Executive Director of the Defeat Diabetes Foundation, a
decade old not-for-profit organization whose mission is
to inform and educate the diabetic and potential, or pre-diabetic,
as to the benefits of health and fitness as it pertains
to the diabetic condition.
As Mr. Diabetes®, the message is literally going to
the streets. A 3+ year, over 10,000 mile trek across America.
He will be walking through, stopping at, inspiring and informing
thousands of our fellow Americans in thousands of cities,
large and small. He is taking the message to the people,
where it needs to be. Not some billboard, not a radio public
service announcement that comes and goes in seconds, Mr.
Diabetes® is going to “be there.” He will
tell his story to anyone and everyone, he will hand out
Screening Tests, he will talk of the warning signs of diabetes,
the dangers of not getting tested, of not taking control.
And, in a twist on an old saying, he is “putting his
mouth where his feet is.”
His message must be heard. Each year, millions of people
are affected by the ravages of diabetes. The situation is
getting worse, not better. The number of diabetics continues
to rise, year after year. With all the programs that are
already in place, and all the diabetes associations which
have been around for years and years, the fact remains that
more people are being diagnosed with diabetes each year
that goes by. The message of Mr. Diabetes®, if heeded,
can reverse this trend. He is putting himself on the line
for us. Let’s support him every step of the way....(Mr.
Diabetes is a tall man (6'4"), with a 30" step,
so it is estimated that he will take 20 million steps to
complete the Mr. Diabetes® Wake Up and Walk® tour.
With an estimated 20 million diabetics in the United States,
each step he takes is for another diabetic!)