Mandi Schwartz (Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Mandi Schwartz was a student at Yale University and a center on the women's ice hockey team. In 2008, she was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia. Last fall, Mandi underwent stem cell transplant surgery, and though initially successful, her cancer returned a few months later before her new immune system could take over, and she passed away on April 3rd.
Though Mandi may have passed away, her fight continues. The Yale athletic department began it's annual marrow donor registry drive after Mandi was diagnosed in 2008, and has since renamed it the Mandi Schwartz Marrow Donor Registry Drive. Since it began, more than 1,600 people have been added as possible donors to the Be The Match Registry. At least five of those new additions have been genetic matches for patients in need. Though Mandi may have lost her battle with leukemia, through her efforts to spread awareness, thousands have been added to the Be The Match Registry, all with the potential to save someone's life.
One of those inspired to add her name to the registry was Lexy Adams, another student and a field hockey player at Yale. She went to the registry drive, had her cheek swabbed, and forgot about it, as most potential donors are never contacted again (the likelihood of being a genetic match is rare). A few months later, Lexy was contacted and asked to come in for more tests to confirm. She was a match, and soon after, she spent six hours hooked up to a machine which siphoned her blood and returned it to her body. Though sore for a couple of days, that was all it took for Lexy to give someone a second chance at life. Due to confidentiality requirements, Lexy does not know who she donated to, but she will receive updates at one month, six months, and a year. After that, if both parties agree, they can choose to meet.
If you're interested in becoming a part of the Be The Match Registry, all it takes is a simple cheek swab. You must be between 18 and 60 years old, in good health, and be willing to donate to anyone in need. For more information, visit the Be The Match website.
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