Just weeks before the annual “White-Out” game in her honor Dec. 2 at Ingalls Rink, women’s hockey player Mandi Schwartz ’11, who passed away in April after a long battle with leukemia, was recognized as one of “The 10 Most Inspirational Hockey Players of All Time” on the website Bleacher Report.
Written on Nov. 4 by columnist Stephen Nelson, the feature acknowledges professional and amateur hockey players who “had to travel roads that were far tougher to navigate than even the one that leads to hockey’s hallowed Cup.”
In addition to Schwartz, layers honored include Vladimir Konstantinov, who suffered debilitating brain trauma in a car accident; Bobby Clarke, who won two Stanley Cups despite his diabetes; Gordie Howe, who holds the record of being the oldest NHL player; and Mario Lemieux, who won his battle with Hodgkin’s disease, returning to the ice on his final day of raditation treatment.
“The fight with cancer may have taken Mandi’s life, but she inspired thousands to join the cause to help win the war against the disease,” Nelson wrote. Through bone marrow drives on Schwartz’ behalf, Nelson noted, over 4,200 people have been added to marrow drive registries in Canada and the United States. Though Schwartz never found a perfect match, as many as five other patients did find a match thanks to these drives, Nelson added.