Hockey Canada express its deepest sympathies to the Schwartz family, who today lost 23-year-old Mandi to acute myeloid leukemia following a two-and-a-half-year battle that included several rounds of chemotherapy, an international search for a bone marrow donor, a stem-cell transplant from the umbilical-cord blood of a toddler and the endearing positivity of Mandi and her many supporters.
Mandi was a forward for Yale University and former candidate for Canada’s National Women’s Under-22 Team, whose determination to succeed on the ice and survive off the ice touched everyone who knew her, and everyone else who simply knew her story. In addition to her many supporters around the world and on the Internet, the Wilcox, Sask., native is survived by fiancé Kaylem Prefontaine, father Rick, mother Carol and younger brothers Rylan and Jaden. Both Rylan, 21, and Jaden, 18, play for Colorado College and Jaden was drafted 14th overall by the St. Louis Blues in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft and most recently represented Canada at the 2011 IIHF World Junior Championship in Buffalo, N.Y.
Outside of hockey, Mandi also enjoyed swimming, hiking and cross-country skiing, according to her Yale University women’s hockey profile. Her favourite musician was Keith Urban, her favourite foods were ice cream and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, her favourite athlete is Canada’s National Women’s Team member Hayley Wickenheiser and her favourite quote is, “The vision of a champion is someone who is bent over, drenched in sweat, at the point of exhaustion when no one else is watching.”
Mandi passed away at 10:30 a.m. PT on Sunday, April 3, surrounded by her loved ones.To learn more about Mandi, a true champion, please visit www.yalebulldogs.com/mandi or www.becomemandishero.org, join Become Mandi’s Hero on Facebook and follow @MandisHeroes on Twitter.