Mandi Schwartz

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Mandi Schwartz
Born Mandi Jocelyn Schwartz
(1988-02-03)February 3, 1988
Yorkton, Saskatchewan, Canada
Died April 3, 2011(2011-04-03) (aged 23)
Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
Cause of death Acute myeloid leukemia
Nationality Canadian
Education Athol Murray College of Notre Dame
Alma mater Yale University
Home town Wilcox, Saskatchewan
Relatives Jaden Schwartz (brother)

Mandi Jocelyn Schwartz (February 3, 1988 – April 3, 2011) was a Canadian player with the Yale Bulldogs women's ice hockey team. In December 2008 — her junior year at Yale University — Schwartz was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia. Her diagnosis and search for a bone marrow or stem cell transplant resulted in bone marrow drives being held at Yale and in Canada. While bone marrow drives held at Yale University did not result in a match for Schwartz, they did result in six matches for other patients on the registry who were waiting for a transplant. She underwent a stem cell transplant from donated umbilical cord blood in September 2010. In December 2010, she learned that the cancer had returned and discontinued most forms of treatment. Schwartz died in Regina, Saskatchewan, at the age of 23.

Hockey career[edit]

Schwartz played minor hockey at Athol Murray College of Notre Dame in Wilcox, Saskatchewan.[1] She joined the Yale Bulldogs after graduating high school in 2006.[1] Schwartz attended evaluation camps for Canadian national women's ice hockey team hosted by Hockey Canada.[1]

Illness and death[edit]

Schwartz was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia in December 2008, during her junior year at Yale.[1] She had been sick for much of the fall semester, but attributed it to stress and an initial diagnosis of anemia. She was diagnosed on December 8, 2008.[2] She started treatment for her cancer in December 2008 and was able to briefly return to school and began practicing with the hockey team again in January 2010. In April 2010, she received word that her cancer had returned and was forced to leave school.[2]

Doctors had decided that Schwartz's best option for treatment would be either a cord blood or bone marrow transplant. In the hopes of finding a match, bone marrow drives were organized at Yale University and at several locations throughout Canada. Drives held at Yale resulted in more than 1,600 people volunteering as potential donors.[3] Bone marrow drives did not result in a match for Schwartz, but doctors found a suitable donor from umbilical cord blood. In September 2010, Schwartz underwent the transplant in Seattle.[4] Her cancer went into remission after the transplant, but returned again in December 2010. Shortly after this, Schwartz decided to discontinue most forms of treatment.[4] Rather than hoping for a cure, Schwartz continued with palliative chemotherapy designed to minimize her symptoms.[5] On April 2, 2011, she entered a Regina hospital and died the following day.[1][2][4]

Personal life[edit]

Schwartz was the daughter of Rick and Carol Schwartz. Brothers Jaden and Rylan both played for the Colorado College men's ice hockey team. Jaden was a first round draft pick of the St. Louis Blues in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, and currently plays for the Blues.[4] She was engaged to Kaylem Prefontaine, whom she had met in high school. They had planned to marry in 2012.[6]


Yale University has made bone marrow drives an annual event on campus. The first two drives signed up over 1,600 potential donors. The 2011 drive was held in April, shortly after Schwartz's death. Shortly after the event, it was announced that the drive had unofficially signed up another 869 potential donors.[7] Although the school's drives did not find a match for Schwartz, they have generated 28 other matches for patients who required a bone marrow transplant.[8] The success of Yale's bone marrow drives is statistically unlikely, according to Sam Rubin who works in Yale's sports publicity department. Rubin stated, "Usually, it takes tens of thousands of people to get one match. It's like looking for a needle in a haystack."[6]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Canadian hockey player Mandi Schwartz dies of leukemia". Canadian Broadcast Corporation. 2011-03-11. Retrieved 2011-04-27. 
  2. ^ a b c Griswold, Alison (2011-04-03). "After long battle with cancer, Schwartz '11 dies". Yale Daily News. Retrieved 2011-04-27. 
  3. ^ "Teams' Latest Victory Is A Record - And A Potential Life Saver". Yale University. 2010-05-07. Retrieved 2011-04-27. 
  4. ^ a b c d Kaplan, Thomas (2011-04-04). "Mandi Schwartz, Athlete at Center of Marrow Drive, Dies at 23". The New York Times. Retrieved 2011-04-27. 
  5. ^ Griswold, Alison (2011-02-21). "From hockey to humanitarian". Yale Daily News. Retrieved 2011-04-27. 
  6. ^ a b Vanstone, Rob (2011-04-13). "Friends, family celebrate Mandi Schwartz with one final skate". Regina Leader Post. Retrieved 2011-04-27. 
  7. ^ Griswold, Alison (2011-04-21). "Marrow donor registry drive adds 869". Yale Daily News. Retrieved 2011-04-27. 
  8. ^ "Yale bone marrow donor drive brings smiles in wake of tears". New Haven Register. 2011-04-21. Retrieved 2011-04-27.