In 2008, Andy Mandell became the only person in history to walk the entire perimeter of the United States. It took Mandell, a Type 2 diabetic with extensive nerve damage in his feet and legs, eight years to complete the 10,000-mile trek. But thanks to Mandell’s walk, other Type 2 diabetics nationwide realized they were “neither helpless nor hopeless,” as Mandell likes to say, and that they could continue to live full lives in spite of their disease. Now Mandell, known today as Mr. Diabetes®, is back. At 73, he has just been diagnosed with Stage 5 renal failure–a diabetic complication–and is facing dialysis. But Mr. Diabetes® refuses to give up or back down, and now he’s documenting this stage of his journey on Twitch.TV in order to spread his message of prevention and hope.
Starting this month, Mr. Diabetes will livestream videos as he relives his Wake Up and Walk® Tour. He’ll share clips from that epic walk and interact with viewers, bringing awareness and education to Type 2 diabetes. Mandell, who established Defeat Diabetes Foundation in an effort to help the estimated one-third of the American population affected by diabetes to live healthier lives, will also share his dialysis experience and answer followers’ diabetes questions and concerns.
“I’m a 73-year-old insulin-dependent diabetic whose kidneys have stopped functioning. I know the nasty side of diabetes,” Mr. Diabetes explained. “But I also know that Type 2 diabetes is up to 90% preventable because we know both its risk factors and its protective factors. Had I known 30 years ago what I know now, my outcome could have been much different. By livestreaming my story on Twitch.TV, I’m able to share that knowledge with others and build a true community around preventing diabetes.”
Mr. Diabetes will livestream on Twitch.TV every weekday between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. ET, with a live Q&A on Monday nights and daily replays between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. ET. He encourages followers to reach out to him (his Twitch.TV username is TheRealMrDiabetes) each evening about anything diabetes-related.
“People need to know they’re not alone with this insidious disease,” stated Mr. Diabetes. “We don’t have to wait for a cure. Because we know how to profile who’s most likely to develop diabetes, we can focus on prevention right now. That’s the heart of what I’m doing with Twitch.TV. Let’s get the word out that even if you have a strong family history of diabetes, it is not inevitable. It doesn’t have to be your genetic destiny. You can rise up and stop it in its tracks.”
It wasn’t until his diabetes spiraled out of control in 1996 and landed him in bed for two years, causing irreversible neuropathy and nearly blinding him, that Mr. Diabetes® realized he needed to know more about the disease. He learned everything he could about Type 2 diabetes risks and prevention strategies. His goal is to pass on that information to other Americans and ultimately reduce the numbers of people being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.
Upcoming Twitch.TV topics from TheRealMrDiabetes include understanding diabetes, adopting a positive attitude, helping diabetes-affected family members, addressing vision problems, traveling with diabetes, understanding the A1C test, exercise and diabetes, nutrition and diabetes, questions to ask your doctor, and even diabetes in pets. Those interested in getting to know Mr. Diabete® and learning more about how to prevent Type 2 diabetes in themselves or their loved ones should go to Twitch.TV and follow TheRealMrDiabetes.