January 10, 2011 by Post Team
25-month battle hockey women with cancer took a radical turn in mid-December. Mandi learned his relapse Dec. 17 – about 85 days after transplantation of stem cells could save lives, and only two weeks less than the time the average transplant patient is well enough to return home. She resumed treatment for less than a month before announcing on January 6 that it would not continue the therapy.
“I want to honestly say [the Yale community] very much, but my heart is not right,” said Mandi’s father, Rick Schwartz, in a telephone interview Sunday. “I feel terrible. I’m lost for words, really.”
On the morning of December 17, Mandi and Family Schwartz wrote a letter of thanks to those who supported Mandi throughout his fight against cancer, expressing the hope that Mandi’s family was on the way healing. Their hopes were dashed after receiving the results of the bone marrow biopsy afternoon, revealing the return of the leukemia.
In an update sent to Yale Athletics shortly after receiving the results, the family of Mandi said the diagnosis was “like we just hit a wall at a hundred miles an hour.” Mandi immediately resumed chemotherapy in Seattle as part of a study for patients with relapsed leukemia after transplantation.
The hockey player returned home Dec. 29 to continue treatment in his hometown of Regina, Saskatchewan. Mandi would Azacitadine doses of the drug used in the study for seven days each month for a period of six to eight months, but the family wrote on Caringbridge.org that the therapy was unable to suppress cancer. The Schwartz announced Jan. 6 that the last test Mandi showed her bone marrow contains 36 times the amount of leukemic blasts – abnormal, immature white blood cells that inhibit the production of normal blood cells – in her body when her cancer recurred in December.
Mother Carol Schwartz said the entire Schwartz family – including fiancé Mandi Kaylem Prefontaine – gathered in Regina this weekend to celebrate the 21st anniversary of Mandi’s brother, Rylan. When Schwartz took family pictures at the birthday party this weekend, Carol said, Mandi was “always smiling”.
Carol said the family and friends surrounded her daughter, who is “generally try to hang in there and trying to be strong for the people around her are strong as well.”
“We’re just trying to take it day by day, someone asked who she wants to see is or who she wants someone to talk to,” said Carol in a telephone interview Sunday. “There were many prayers. ”
Samantha MacLean ’11, captain of the women’s hockey team, said the seniors of the team should visit the weekend before Mandi Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. They canceled the trip after Mandi told them that his treatment was progressing poorly and the visit was not a good idea, “said MacLean.
“It’s difficult because we do not really know what to do at this stage,” said MacLean. “Before we had players from bone marrow and have been raising money and stuff, but now we know what to do. ”
Female ex-hockey coach Hilary Witt said there are few supporters Mandi can do other than pray, but Witt expressed his confidence in Mandi resolve to beat cancer.
“Mandi is a fighter,” said Witt. “She will not give up his fight. This kid has battled hard for 25 months and it will not give up now.”
The women’s hockey team rallied to Mandi since his diagnosis, the head of a national movement to raise funds and awareness for leukemia patients and Mandi others. Yale held its second annual bone marrow in April 2010 and recorded 921 potential donors – far exceeding the 704 donors who have joined the registry during training in 2009.
Please feel free to send if you have any questions regarding this post , you can contact on
Disclaimer: The views expressed on this site are that of the authors and not necessarily that of U.S.S.POST.