Mandi Schwartz passes away Sunday

After a long and courageous battle with cancer, Mandi Schwartz passed away Sunday morning.

The Yale forward and sister of Colorado College forwards Rylan and Jaden was just 23.

In a statement issued Monday, Yale University said:

“Our thoughts are with the Schwartz family, Mandi’s fiance, her physicians and caregivers, and her friends, classmates, coaches and teammates, all of whom were integral to Mandi’s valiant fight against the cancer that eventually took her life. The grace and courage with which Mandi approached her treatment, and the enthusiasm and optimism with which Mandi approached life itself have inspired countless people, both here in New Haven and beyond. Her efforts — and the efforts of those close to her — to raise awareness of, and participation in, marrow and cord blood donor programs have already yielded potentially lifesaving results. Yale will continue those efforts through the annual Mandi Schwartz Marrow Donor Registry Drive at Yale. The next drive will be held on Thursday, April 21, on the Yale campus.”

The St. Louis Blues, the team that drafted Jaden Schwartz in the first round of last summer’s NHL draft, released the following:

“From the entire St. Louis Blues organization, our thoughts and prayers are with the Schwartz family during this difficult time,” Blues president John Davidson said in the statement.

Schwartz was first diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia in 2008 during her junior year at Yale.

Chemotherapy sent her into remission and she returned to Yale, but Schwartz relapsed in April of 2009. She had more chemotherapy treatments in Seattle before stem cells from two umbilical-cord donors were transplanted last Sept. 20 at the University of Washington Medical Center. Schwartz went home to Wilcox, Sask., but in late December, tests revealed that the cancer had returned.

The Facebook page “Become Mandi’s Hero” has drawn almost 6,500 followers.

A message posted on the page Sunday read: “Thank you for your support. We regret to inform you that Mandi passed this morning at 10:35 PST surrounded by her wonderful family, fiance and friends.”