Join the Be The Match®
Registry at the Mandi Schwartz Marrow Donor Registration
Drive at Yale!
Part of the "Get in the Game. Save a Life." Program
On Dec. 8, 2008, Yale women's hockey center Mandi Schwartz was diagnosed with cancer (acute myeloid leukemia). She returned home to Wilcox, Saskatchewan, for treatment. On Jan. 8, 2010 -- after five rounds of strong chemotherapy treatment and 130 days in the hospital put her in remission -- she returned to Yale for the spring semester. She was planning to return to playing hockey in the 2010-11 season, but in April of 2010 she learned that the cancer had returned.
Mandi's search for a genetic match for a stem cell transplant to save her life inspired thousands to sign up as potential marrow donors, but no perfect match was ever found for her. Mandi received a transplant using umbilical cord blood in September 2010 at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. But a biopsy in December 2010 revealed that the cancer had returned again. She passed away in Saskatchewan on Apr. 3, 2011 at the age of 23.
Yale has named its annual marrow donor registration drive in Mandi's memory. These drives are led by the field hockey, football and women's ice hockey teams. They are a part of Yale's Day of Service initiative. In 2013, the New Haven County Medical Association began assisting as well. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in being involved in the drive.
To date, Yale's drives have added nearly 4,000 people to the Be The Match registry, including 921 in 2010 -- a record for the "Get in the Game. Save a Life." program. At least 23 life-saving matches for patients in need have been located through these efforts. One donor was a Yale field hockey player, Lexy Adams, and another was a Yale football player, John Oppenheimer.
The Yale women's ice hockey team also holds an annual "White Out for Mandi" fundraiser game in Mandi's memory, which raises funds for the Mandi Schwartz Foundation. The foundation was started by Mandi's teammate, Aleca Hughes '12.
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