January 11, 2011

Message to the Community About Mandi Schwartz

Tom Beckett, Yale's Director of Athletics, sent the following e-mail to the Yale Athletics community on Jan. 11 in regard to the latest news about Mandi Schwartz, a Yale women's ice hockey player who is currently battling cancer. It is re-printed here on yalebulldogs.com for all of Mandi's supporters to read. For further information, please visit http://www.yalebulldogs.com/mandi 

 

Dear Friends:

As we begin the spring 2011 semester, I must share with all of you the sad news that Mandi Schwartz has suffered another setback in her battle with cancer. She has now relapsed for the third time in the past nine months, and tests following the latest relapse have confirmed the aggressive nature of the cancer.

It has been more than two years since Mandi was first diagnosed with leukemia, forcing her to return home to Saskatchewan for chemotherapy midway through her junior year at Yale. Many of you know her as a standout center for our women's ice hockey team. Mandi's most recent relapse comes after she received a stem cell transplant last September in Seattle. The Schwartzes have now returned to Saskatchewan to cherish their time together at home. As they face an uncertain future, we must remain resolute in our support for them.

Mandi is a woman of great courage and determination. Her story has been told far and wide, and she has inspired many. There is no way to quantify the impact that she has had, but we do know this: the two bone marrow donor testing drives that the Yale Athletics Department has held since she was first diagnosed have added more than 1,600 potential donors to the National Marrow Donor Program's "Be The Match" registry. Thanks to these efforts, at least four matches have already been found for patients in need of life-saving transplants.

The hope provided for families in need by drives like this embodies the spirit that Mandi has shown throughout her ordeal. In her honor, the Yale Department of Athletics is currently making plans for the annual testing drive. In addition, Yale is making counseling resources available to assist those in the Yale community who may need it during this difficult time. We remain united.

In closing, I would like to convey a message of thanks and inspiration from the Schwartz family that they would like to share with the Yale community and all of Mandi's supporters:

"We are aware that in today's world cancer has affected every family, and every family has suffered and every family has been called upon to support cancer foundations.  But what we weren't aware of was that each and every family we ever knew -- and even families that we didn't know -- would unite, and join our family's fight in the battle against leukemia.  

HOW can we ever say THANK YOU to all of you, and will the words 'thank you' ever be enough?  Each and every day all over the world, bone marrow donors and cord blood donors are giving families like ours HOPE and transplants are saving lives.  You helped us, but more importantly in Mandi's name the campaign that you have been a part of will support the much needed ongoing research that will help many, many families both now and in the future, and each and every cord blood donor and bone marrow donor will be offering a blessing that is above and beyond a true miracle."

Sincerely,

Tom Beckett

Director of Athletics