The Tampa Bay Lightning honored Andrew Mandell as a Lightning Community Hero during the first period of tonight's game against the St. Louis Blues. Mandell, who received a $50,000 donation from the Lightning Foundation and the Lightning Community Heroes program, will donate the money to the Defeat Diabetes Foundation.
Mandell is the Executive Director of the Defeat Diabetes Foundation, a national non-profit organization founded in 1990 that prevents diabetes and helps save the lives of children, adults and families impacted by the pain of diabetes. He authored a fitness manual for diabetics with numerous articles and helped develop the Defeat Diabetes Screening Test, a valuable first step to identify a person's diabetes risk. The test has been distributed to millions of American children. Mandell is a recognized expert, as he lectures tirelessly to individuals, elected officials, schools, community groups and civic organizations. He was diagnosed himself with Type 2 diabetes in 1985.
Mandell set off on the Diabetes Wake Up and Walk Tour in 2000, a 10,000-mile walk of the perimeter of the continental United States on feet and legs that he couldn't feel. He took the message to the streets that Type 2 diabetes can be prevented by as much as 95 percent in most cases. Mandell's epic journey took eight years to complete, spanning 34 states, approximately 1,000 media appearances and he talked one-on-one with more than 78,000 individuals. His message has resonated with senators, congressmen, governors, mayors, researchers and hospital workers. To this day, Mandell has insisted to be readily available at all hours of the day to anyone with diabetes who needs help or advice.