December 26, 2010

Women’s Golf Team Announces “100 Holes for Mandi” Fundraiser

Bulldogs Join Women's Ice Hockey Player's Battle with Cancer

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – As a show of support and fundraiser for Yale women's ice hockey player Mandi Schwartz in her battle with cancer, the Yale women's golf team will play "100 Holes for Mandi". The Bulldogs will accept donations per hole, then head into the golf simulator in Yale's Dave Paterson Golf Technology Center in Payne Whitney Gym to play 100 holes of golf in Mandi's honor.

Mandi, a native of Wilcox, Sask., has been battling acute myeloid leukemia for more than two years. This past September she required a life-saving stem cell transplant at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle that was designed to give her a new immune system using stem cells from two anonymously donated units of umbilical cord blood. A biopsy in December indicated that she has relapsed, and she is now undergoing further chemotherapy using the experimental drug Azacitidine.

"Mandi has been on our minds a lot lately, and our team has been looking for ways to show our support for her," said Chawwadee Rompothong '00, Yale's head women's golf coach. "We hope that by playing 100 holes for Mandi, we can raise funds for her and her family while also raising awareness of the need for bone marrow donors and umbilical cord blood donors for the 1,000s of patients like Mandi with life-threatening illnesses."

 "100 Holes for Mandi" is scheduled to take place by the end of March. Those interested in supporting the cause can e-mail their desired donation total and contact information to Coach Rompothong at chawwadee.rompothong@yale.edu. Checks should be made out to "Yale University Relief Fund" with "Mandi Schwartz" in the memo line and sent to:

Chawwadee Rompothong
Yale Athletic Department
PO Box 208216
New Haven, CT 06520-8216

The Yale women's golf team is coming off an impressive fall that saw the Bulldogs finish first at four of the five tournaments they played. Yale is led by senior captain Alyssa Roland, who won the Ivy League individual championship last season and was a first team All-Ivy honoree.

"100 Holes for Mandi" is the latest in a series of events involving Yale athletic teams in Mandi's honor. Each of the past two springs, the Yale football and women's ice hockey teams have led bone marrow donor registration drives as part of the "Get in the Game. Save a Life." campaign. Those drives have added a total of more than 1,600 potential donors to the National Marrow Donor Program's "Be The Match" registry, which is designed to find genetic matches for patients in need of life-saving transplants. Those drives have yielded at least four genetic matches for patients with life-threatening illnesses. That includes Yale sophomore field hockey player Lexy Adams, who was a match for a patient with cancer.

In addition to the bone marrow donor drives, Mandi's Yale women's ice hockey teammates also organized a "White Out for Mandi" fundraiser at their game on Nov. 12, selling special white t-shirts with Mandi's number (17) and holding a silent auction to raise funds. That same night, the Yale women's swimming and diving team painted Mandi's uniform number on their shoulders for their home-opening meet as a show of support.

Prior to the Yale-Quinnipiac men's ice hockey game on Nov. 6, the Yale Club of New Haven and the Yale and Quinnipiac Athletic departments hosted "Mandi's March", a fundraiser that saw participants bike, walk and run the Farmington Canal Rails-to-Trail path between Quinnipiac's rink and Yale's Ingalls Rink.

For further information on Mandi's story, and how you can help, visit http://www.yalebulldogs.com/mandi

Report by Sam Rubin '95 (sam.rubin@yale.edu), Yale Sports Publicity