An email sent by Jonathan Holloway, the Master of Calhoun College, to the Calhoun community on Jan. 7 in regard to the latest news about Mandi Schwartz, a member of Calhoun who plays for Yale and is currently battling cancer, the update seems very grim.
As we start off a new year and a new academic term I regret that I have to share a very sad update with you: Mandi Schwartz, a member of the Calhoun community and the women’s ice hockey team, has suffered a serious setback in her fight against leukemia.
After a long and determined battle that included an original diagnosis, several rounds of chemotherapy at home, a healthy return to campus last year, a subsequent relapse, and a seemingly successful stem cell transplant, Mandi’s cancer has returned and is aggressive.
Mandi is now at home with her family and they are spending their days in quiet celebration of their time together. While I do not know what the day-to-day future holds I am certain that it is incumbent upon us in this very moment to summon our goodwill and prayers and offer them to Mandi and her family.
As much as this is a time of reflection it is also a time to look forward and acknowledge those great things that have been achieved in our fight for Mandi. Over the last two years, for example, the Department of Athletics has helped organize the largest bone marrow registration drives in the country. Many of you, I know, have already registered as potential donors at these drives and we all thank you for that. It is worth knowing that four known matches have come about as a direct result of these registry events. There are sure to be other lives saved as a result of these and future efforts. So, just as this is a season of sorrow it remains a season of hope.
And, this, I believe, is what Mandi wants for all of us: to be hopeful for the future and to remain committed to the idea that by working together as a community we can secure more victories even though we will suffer the occasional defeat. This is the passion she brought with her to the ice and these are the ideals that have helped shape our beloved Calhoun.
Even though we are still on winter break please know that Yale’s resources are available to you. We all navigate our emotional and psychological challenges in unique ways. This does not, mean, however, that we need to navigate these challenges by ourselves. Dean Woodard and I, along with Yale’s mental health professionals, stand ready to help you in this particular time of need and, of course, beyond.