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Mandi Schwartz receives stem cell transplant to assist her fight against cancer

Sep 23, 2010, 8:00 PM EDT

The last we heard of Mandi Schwartz’s battle with cancer was that a stem cell transplant had been put on hold because she was dealing with infections. Today brought a promising turn of events, though, as Mike Morreale of NHL.com reports that Schwartz finally received the stem cell transplant that doctors hope will revamp her immune system and fight off the cancer that has plagued her since late 2008.

Mandi Schwartz, sister of 2010 St. Louis Blues’ first-round draft choice Jaden Schwartz, finally has received the stem cell transplant she requires in an effort to beat the cancer that has been destroying her bone marrow since December, 2008.

According to yalebulldogs.com, the 32-minute procedure took place Wednesday afternoon at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance’s inpatient transplant unit at the University of Washington Medical Center.

The next phase in her recovery is “engraftment”, during which the transplanted stem cells begin to grow in her bone marrow and manufacture new blood cells and immune cells. The stem cells, taken from two umbilical cord blood units donated anonymously, were placed into her body via a vein. The procedure should help establish Schwartz’ new immune system and should occur within a month. The hope is Wednesday’s procedure will put an end to her bout with acute myeloid leukemia — a type of cancer that starts inside the bone marrow and grows from cells that would normally turn into white blood cells within the immune system.

The transplant capped a busy 10 days for Schwartz and her family. Until receiving the results of a biopsy on Sept. 13, it remained unclear whether Schwartz would be cleared for the transplant. She had been battling a series of infections, but biopsy results indicated she remained in remission and doctors acted quickly to begin her conditioning for the procedure. The radiation treatment began Sept. 14 and was followed by chemotherapy.

It’s obviously not the end of the road for Schwartz’s recovery process, but this is heartening news after quite a few recent setbacks.

Mandi is the sister of Jaden Schwartz, the 14th overall pick of the 2010 draft by the St. Louis Blues. Good luck to the Schwartz family as they continue a valiant fight against cancer.

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