Letter to the community, from Manny Hernandez


I hope you had a restful holiday in the company of your loved ones.

As 2015 kicks in, I have some important news to share about Diabetes Hands Foundation (DHF) and me.

Thursday, April 30 will be my last day as part of the staff at DHF, the nonprofit that since 2008 has been behind TuDiabetes, EsTuDiabetes, the Big Blue Test, and in recent years, the Diabetes Advocates program.

I am very excited to announce that Melissa Lee is coming on as Interim Executive Director effective today, January 15, 2015. As most of you know, Melissa has deep history with DHF. She was one of the first administrators of TuDiabetes and became our first Lead Administrator, as well. She joined the Board of Directors in 2012 and has served as Secretary to the Board for the past two years. In addition, Melissa is on the steering committee of Diabetes Advocates. You may also know her from her contributions to A Sweet Life, where she is the Tech Editor, and her own blog, Sweetly Voiced.

As she takes on this role, I will continue at DHF, supporting her transition and having an active role in the project to migrate our online communities. As Melissa and I navigate this transition for the organization, the Board has started the search process for a permanent Executive Director.

As the co-founder of the organization, this was not an easy decision for me to make, but it is the right moment for it as I plan for my family's future. I am confident that DHF has the leadership at the staff and board levels to manage these changes successfully. I want to thank them ALL for their unconditional and humbling support throughout this process!

After I step down, I won't become a stranger to DHF or to diabetes. I anticipate that I will always have a relationship with DHF. In fact, I look forward to serving as an advisor to the organization, and in any other capacity that I can be of value to DHF. I am also truly excited about the prospect of getting involved in diabetes and pre-diabetes in additional ways. I will be posting about my next steps on social media soon.

This is a change for me, but DHF remains committed to continue to deliver on its mission. We all count on your support and partnership in 2015 and beyond to positively impact the lives of millions of people touched by diabetes.

We will be announcing soon a Live Interview event to chat about this news. You can also read the announcement we published on the DHF web site here.

Your friend in diabetes,


I'd like to personally thank Manny for all his efforts. I think many of us indelibly link Manny to this community and his moving on is somewhat of a shock. But in truth much of the hard work in establishing TuDiabetes and DHF is done. I think Manny can look back with pride at all that has been accomplished. We don't always appreciate the personal commitment and sacrifice that Manny and his family has made over all these years. I'd like to thank Manny for all he and his family have done for us. And I'd like to assure everyone that this community is not going to crumble. Over the years we have developed a strong team to run things and for some years TuDiabetes has basically run on it's won with very little oversight and intervention needed. And this will continue. And DHF is in a really good position to transition to a new platform, so things are on a very stable footing.

I know this was a very hard decision for Manny but we all grow up. Manny needs to move on to other opportunities and we should all be very proud that TuDiabetes and DHF have grown up as well and can be very successful on their own.

ps. My wife truly wishes I would grow up soon, so thanks for being a good model Manny.

You have truly been an inspiration to all of us. We will miss you as our leader. But, I personally am looking forward to you being a part of the community again.


Thanks Manny, you have truly made a difference in so many lives, including mine. Good luck with your new endeavors.

Thank you, Manny, for everything you have done to bring tudiabetes to life and where it is today! I wish you all the best in your future endeavors!

Melissa, I have been a long time fan of yours and am glad to see you'll be moving into the role of Interim Executive Director. If I can be of any help, please just let me know. I wish you the best of luck.

I'm afraid my wife has long since given up hope of my ever growing up, but otherwise here's a huge "plus one" to everything Brian said. The team that actually runs the day to day business of DHF is rock solid from top to bottom; Manny has built better than he probably could ever have imagined. That said, he will be profoundly and permanently missed. Some people can be succeeded but never replaced.

I haven't been here from the beginning, but I have seen this community grow in some amazing and sometimes surprising ways. Much of that growth has been because of the strength of Manny's personal vision for not only the DHF, but for diabetics overall health.

I am wishing you the best for the future, with gratitude for what you have accomplished here.

Melissa has a strong, creative voice of her own. Welcome to your new role, Melissa.

Manny you are the hero of legions, and learning this was a shock. I am new here but your leadership of loving kindness proves that an organization can be strong, vibrant, and oh so knowledgeable with a foundation of loving kindness.

Have been wanting to share something with you for a long time. My 2014 was devastating in so many ways. 1) My broker is Hispanic, and he has taken such good care of me and my money. Without him I would be in a world of hurt; 2) My endocrinologist is Hispanic and she is responsible for correcting my dx from T2 to T1 ... the hospital did not do the proper tests. Additionally, she provides me with such good care (as verified from this knowledgeable group)In fact, she referred me here; and 3) YOU a Venezuelan. I hear you give good hugs...have felt that warm embrace from day 1. Thank you SO much. The Hispanic hug has indeed kept me from going down a very deep, dark hole. Always remember, you are never alone either. Lean on us,laugh with us, and talk about food with us!

Mmmm. I need to think about this. I'm very glad Melissa is coming in, though...xx000

Manny - Congrats on closing out a successful chapter of your life. I've especially benefitted from TuDiabetes. It has helped me make marked health improvements. I enjoy better health every day due to what I learned from others here.

We all need to reinvent ourselves as we move through life. Some have called it the "seven year itch." I think it's a natural part of life and ignoring it can often cause trouble. Good luck with whatever you choose for your next project. Your resume impresses!

I feel nauseous. Manny! ...sorry. You will always be my hero, YOU saved my life.



You have had a huge impact in the diabetes community. You have showed up what a real leader is, and been a true inspiration to all of us. You should be proud of all you’ve achieved.

I’m sure this was an incredibly hard decision for you to make. We will miss you.

Thank you for having an impact on, and changing so many of our lives! Also, thank you for showing us what a true role model and inspiration is!

I wish you all the best and success with whatever the future may bring you!


Manny, you are changing hats but not changing homes. Wherever you are headed I know they will obtain a passionate, compassionate and capable leader.

Thank you for serving DHF and making the sacrifices that have benefited all of us.

See you online.

Everyone is going to miss you!! You have definitely been a sort of guru for many of us! Thanks for all you have done ( to start with creating this wonderful site). Good luck and welcome to Melissa that we seem already to know. I know you will keep in touch. Warm wishes for the future!!

As Board Chair of DHF and a long time member of TuDiabetes, I have to say that when Manny first told me of his decision, I was stopped still. But since then I have come to realize that this is indicative of success and growth. Manny is my dear friend and TuDiabetes quite literally saved me when I so needed the help with my own diabetes. Manny has grown this organization to be that kind of life saving resource for so many of us living with diabetes. What he has done is downright amazing. It's exciting to watch him pass the baton to Melissa. He will always be an advisor to DHF and who knows what else he will bring to us living with diabetes in his next role?! I look forward to Melissa's capable leadership and her unique passion and deep background with the diabetes community. Our dynamic staff continues in its full stride and is already working closely with Melissa. Be prepared for great things!

many I hate to hear this but I understand the thing about "u must move on" u have been such a great man. I came here not knowing what to expect when it 1st started u will be so missed here u and the others her were there to welcome me back when I had to take a few years for myself. please know u always can come back home if u want u guys done it for me! Good Luck and know I REALLY respect everything u have done

Lots of Love


Thanks, Manny, for everything you have done to help people living with diabetes. The growth and success of the Diabetes Hands Foundation have been nothing short of remarkable, and the results of your strong guidance and leadership will continue to be seen for long into the future. We wish you all the best in your new career pursuits, and we look forward to a fruitful connection with you as we all move forward.

And, we welcome Melissa to her new role in the organization and are sure that she will provide terrific continuity and thoughtful leadership during the transition period. Melissa's reputation in the DOC, along with her clear commitment to providing people with better and better tools to live with diabetes, makes her an ideal successor during this time. As a DHF board member, I look forward to working alongside Melissa in advancing the Foundation's programs.

Robert Geho

Thank you so much! I'm excited to help DHF continue the mission that Manny founded us on.

Thank you, Mike. I promise to serve in the spirit I have always served and continue the work that we've begun under Manny.