Mr. Diabetes® Named Tampa Bay Lightning “Hero”

Madeira Beach, FL – The Tampa Bay Lightning Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the Tampa Bay Lighting National Hockey League team, awarded Andrew P. Mandell, known internationally as Mr. Diabetes®, $50,000 for his charity of choice, Defeat Diabetes Foundation.

The Hero Award was presented by Lightning owner, Jeff Vinik and NHL phenomenon and All Star Lightning Center Steven Stamkos, on March 17th at a home game.  To view the presentationhttp://DefeatDiabetes.org/lightning

Mr. Diabetes® earned recognition for The Mr. Diabetes® Wake Up and Walk® Tour, his epic 8 year 10,000+ mile perimeter walk of the United States.  Its purpose was to inform and educate individuals and elected officials about the imminent dangers of diabetes, risk factors, warning signs, complications and prevention methods.

With this generous award, Defeat Diabetes Foundation today announced the expansion of their Kid Initiative to Defeat Diabetes® (KIDD™) in the Tampa Bay, Florida area, a program that focuses on grades K – 12. “One of every three children will get diabetes in their lifetime if nothing is done to stop it,” said Mandell. “This generation is on the fast track to live a shorter and less healthy life than their parents,” he continued.

“We’re piloting an in-school program that provides in-depth information about diabetes and providing kids with tools they need to develop healthy lifestyle habits,” said Mandell.

The program includes in-school talks about diabetes and diabetes prevention, risk assessments, curriculum materials and school based projects for creating a healthier community.  “I’m thrilled to direct the $50,000 donation to pilot this program locally,” added Mandell.

The in-school talks will be conducted by Mandell and Stan Neckar, Defenseman with the 2004 Stanley Cup Champion Tampa Bay Lightning, also living with Type 1 diabetes.

“I’m a parent with four young children.  I worry about them, especially, when I read that 1 of 3 children will get diabetes in their lifetime. This program gives me an opportunity to be a part of the solution to the problem.  I’m excited to be working with Defeat Diabetes Foundation on this project,” said Stan Neckar.

Mandell concluded, “What’s worse than finding out you have diabetes? Not finding out! Together we can – Defeat Diabetes®.”

If you are interested in having a KIDD™ presentation at your school contact: Dawn Swidorski, Public Outreach Director at dswidorski@DefeatDiabetes.org

About Defeat Diabetes Foundation

Defeat Diabetes Foundation is a nationally registered 501(c) 3 non-profit charity founded in 1990 by diabetics and dedicated to the prevention, early identification and effective self-care of diabetes.  We’re on a mission to save children and their families from the pain of diabetes by empowering them with the tools to prevent diabetes and/or its complications. www.DefeatDiabetes.org

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