Annual ‘Run for Mandi’ hosting bone marrow registry to combat cancer – Saskatoon StarPhoenix

Posted: August 27, 2017 at 12:48 pm

Erica Honoway is scheduled to speak at the annual "Run for Mandi" charity event in Saskatoon, after her son Lincoln was saved by a bone marrow transplant.Michael Bell / Regina Leader-Post

An annual run honouring a late Canadian hockey player is working with a bone marrow and stem cell registry group in hopes of helping more people in her name.

The Run for Mandi is named for Saskatchewan hockey player Mandi Schwartz, who was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia in 2008 while she was part of the Yale Bulldogs hockey team. She died in 2011.

The event kicks off Sunday afternoon at River Landing. The five-kilometre run and the one-kilometre family walk will start at two, and for the first time a bone marrow and stem cell registry group will be set up at the run.

Mandis mother, Carol Schwartz, said shes proud of the work being done by the Mandi Schwartz Foundation in her daughters name.

It just makes these events more meaningful lives are being saved, Schwartz said. Theres probably no greater gift than meeting someone who got a successful match.

The OneMatch Stem Cell and Marrow Network, a part of Canadian Blood Services, will accept registrations at Sundays event. Schwartz said theyve handed out information before, but this is the first time OneMatch will swab volunteers at the event to register them in the network.

Bobbylynn Stewart with Breck Construction, the title sponsor for the event, said she has a personal stake in helping organize the run because her mother also died of acute myeloid leukemia. Its a chance for the company and the community to help other families with similar struggles, she said.

When you have a blood cancer or disorder, often times you are relying on a stem cell match through the network, Stewart said. So growing that network is vital.

Alongside the run will be a charity silent auction and a barbecue. Mandis brothers, professional hockey players Jayden and Rylan Schwartz, are also expected to attend, along with NHL players Ryan Murray and JC Lipton, and AHL player Brandon Gormley.

Erica Honoway, scheduled to speak before the run, said she is haunted by how close her family came to sharing in the Schwartzs tragedy.

Her son Lincoln was diagnosed with aplastic anemia last year, but a bone marrow transplant helped save his life.

In all the registries in the world, they found two matches for Lincoln, Honoway said. Every single person who gets on is another chance for someone to have their life saved.

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Annual 'Run for Mandi' hosting bone marrow registry to combat cancer - Saskatoon StarPhoenix

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