April 03, 2011
Her story inspired thousands across the hockey community, as campaigns to find donors for bone marrow and stem cells were held throughout North America.
In December 2010, after a 25-month ordeal that included a stem-cell transplant many assumed would save her life, Schwartz's cancer returned. Her family said it was like they "hit a brick wall at one hundred miles an hour"; the 23-year-old Schwartz elected to stop medical treatment of her leukemia.
"We regret to inform everyone that Mandi Schwartz passed away at 10:35 am PST surrounded by her wonderful family, fiancé and friends."
Just last week, Yale announced The Mandi Schwartz Marrow Donor Registry Drive at Yale -- part of the nationwide "Get in the Game. Save a Life." campaign for the Be The Match Registry -- will be held on April 21. Information for the event is on Facebook and on the Be The Match home page.
Her brothers Jaden and Rylan played for Colorado College in the NCAA men's hockey tournament this spring; Jaden was drafted by the St. Louis Blues last summer (No. 14 overall) and told the News Democrat last week:
"She's fighting through it and they're still helping her as much as they can," Jaden Schwartz said. "She actually came out a couple times to watch me and my brother.
"She's been a very, very big influence for me and even previous to the cancer with just how hard she worked in life and how passionate she was about both school and hockey."
Mandi Schwartz dies a hockey player, and an inspiration to other hockey players.
As Lisa Olson of AOL FanHouse wrote in January, in a great piece about Schwartz's brief time as an assistant coach for the Western Washington Female Hockey Association Phoenix:
"[The players] will talk about her forever, not just because she was their role model and idol in a sport that has few. They recognize in Mandi traits indicative to every true athlete -- perseverance, determination, grace, fearlessness -- but mostly they saw a kindred spirit, one who cherishes the sound of blades on ice."
Tributes to Mandi and condolences for Mandi's family are piling up on Facebook. Feel free to include yours there, or in the comments below.
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