The third annual Mandi Schwartz Marrow Donor Registry Drive added an unofficial count of 869 people to the national registry Wednesday, Yale Athletics told the News in an email. The official tally will come from the Be The Match registry run by the National Marrow Donor Program in several weeks.
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The drives first began in April 2009, as part of the push to help find a bone marrow or stem cell donor for women’s hockey player Mandi Schwartz ’11, who had been diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia the previous December. Though Schwartz died of the disease earlier this month, her family, teammates and supporters have worked to continue drives, fundraisers, and awareness campaigns in her name.
“I think it is very important that we continue these marrow registry drives in her name, in her honor,” said Harry Rosenholtz, a former Yale coach who recruited Schwartz and now works at Quinnipiac. “It’s one of the ways we make people aware of the challenges that Mandi faced.”
Yale’s past two bone marrow drives — both held in Commons — had already added more than 1,600 people to the national registry. That total shot over 2,400 with Wednesday’s efforts, which were coordinated by the women’s hockey, field hockey and football teams. The April 2010 drive has been the most successful of the three, bringing in 921 attendees to set a national record for participation.
The second-largest drive this year was held by Villanova, with some 640 people in attendance, according to Yale Athletics.