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Mandi Schwartz's fight with cancer takes a sad turn

Aug 14, 2010, 1:15 PM EDT

After receiving some promising news not too long ago, Mandi Schwartz faces another sad setback in her battle with cancer. NHL.com reports that the sister of St. Louis Blues first round pick Jaden Schwartz will need to undergo more chemo therapy after her cancer resurfaced for a third time.

Schwartz, who was scheduled for a stem cell transplant on Aug. 27 at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance operated by Fred Hutchinson Cancer Care Center, University of Washington Medicine and Seattle Children’s, must now undergo further chemotherapy in order to go back in remission so a date for the required stem-cell transplant can be finalized.

According to Sam Rubin of Yale Sports Publicity, the stem cell transplant that Schwartz needs to help win her battle against acute myeloid leukemia – a cancer that starts inside the bone marrow and grows from cells that would normally turn into white blood cells – will include a breakthrough procedure pioneered by one of her doctors at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Care Center.

The stem cells needed for transplants like Mandi’s come from the bone marrow or peripheral blood of an adult donor or the blood left over in the umbilical cord after a baby is born. In order to limit the risk of complications, the stem cells must come from a donor who is a close genetic match to the patient.

The cancer needs to be in remission, however, in order for doctors to proceed with the transplant.

Mandi Schwartz has been incredibly resilient throughout all this, so hopefully she’ll be able to stay strong in the face of some staggering odds.

If nothing else, the attention gained by her situation has helped change other lives. Here’s a bit more about the inspiring results of her family and school’s drive to find more bone marrow donors.

Two weeks ago, another donor who registered at a Yale bone marrow donor drive was called upon and donated stem cells to help save a 55-year old man. This was the second confirmed donation from one of the Yale bone marrow donor drives. Mandi and her family continue to encourage all adults to sign up as bone marrow donors, and for expectant mothers to sign up as cord blood donors.

For more information regarding the various fund-raising efforts, click here.

  1. Jan - Aug 14, 2010 at 4:15 PM

    My former employer had this proceedure done in Texas and like you he had several false starts before he could actually get it done. He is in his 60’s and his donor brother close to 70 but they were able to go forward last winter and he is dong well. I pray for the same success for you. Discouragement is understandable, but don’t let it defeat you!

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