Friday, June 4, 2010

For Mandi

We've only been around for a little over half a year, but Without a Peer has already earned a reputation for being savage when it comes to dealing with the competition. Hockey's a no-nonsense sport, and we are unapologetically zealous in support of our team. There's a time and a place for that. But there's also a time and place for the college hockey world to come together and support one of our own.

This is one of those times.


This is Mandi Schwartz. She's appeared in 73 games for the Yale Bulldogs over the first three seasons of her college career, and she should have been enjoying her final season and graduation from Yale right about now.

In December 2008, in the midst of her junior season, Mandi was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia. She went home to Wilcox, Saskatchewan to be near her family as she underwent chemotherapy and recovery. The leukemia was in remission, and she returned to Yale in January 2010 to complete her junior year and prepare to take the ice again in 2010-11.

Here's Mandi talking about her return to Yale and her optimism for the future:



Unfortunately, shortly after this interview was conducted, tests showed that the cancer had returned. She is now back in Saskatchewan undergoing chemo again.

What Mandi needs is a stem cell transplant - which means we must find a bone marrow donor or cord blood donors for her, and both are difficult to find, because when it comes to bone marrow, there are 10 points that must match to ensure that there will not be rejection, and cord blood requires as many as 200 donors.

Here is a discussion about Mandi and her condition from Yale, featuring former Yale men's team defenseman Brennan Turner, who grew up with Mandi in Saskatchewan:



So what can we do to help? It's very simple - and I pray that you join the cause to help Mandi find her hero.

* Check out Yale's website about Mandi. If you have any questions, be sure to send an email to info@BecomeMandisHero.org

* Join Mandi's Facebook page to get up to date information about her condition and what you can do to help.

* If you are pregnant, or know a woman who is pregnant, please, let her know about cord blood donation. Mandi is in need of cord blood from babies with any combination of German, Russian, or Ukrainian heritage especially, but cord blood donation can potentially help thousands of other people as well - if it isn't donated, it is just thrown away. BecomeMandisHero.org has a special card that you can print out with information about cord blood donation.

* The most proactive thing you can do is to join the national bone marrow registry for your country - click here for the American registry, click here for the Canadian registry, or click here for information about registries in Germany, Israel, the Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden. If you are a potential donor, you could directly help save Mandi's life or thousands of others like Mandi who need your help to survive.

Please - if the only thing you do is to pass this along to one other person, take the time to spread the word about Mandi. It only takes one person to save her life, and the more people we have on the hunt looking for that person, the better chances we'll have of finding that person.

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