Mandi Schwartz memorial run doubles as stem cell, marrow donor drive in Saskatoon

It has been six years since young hockey player Mandi Schwartz died from acute myeloid leukemia but her legacy lives on in an annual fundraising run in Saskatoon.

OneMatch program will be encouraging people to register as stem cell donors at Run for Mandi

Mandi Schwartz is shown in action in this 2007 Yale University Athletics department handout photo. ((Canadian Press))

It has been six years since Saskatchewan hockey player Mandi Schwartz died from acute myeloid leukemia, but her legacy lives on in an annual fundraising run in Saskatoon. 

The Run for Mandi starts at 1 p.m. CST at River Landing on Sunday, and proceeds from the event go towards a foundation set up in Schwartz's name. 

Her father, Rick Schwartz, said the event means a lot to the family. 

"It's very special to know that your daughter has touched so many people's lives and we're happy to be a part of it," Schwartz told CBC Radio's Saskatchewan Weekend.

"But more importantly we're going to try save people's lives today and have a little bit of fun at the same time."

A new addition to this year's event will be the presence of the OneMatch stem cell and marrow network, which will be encouraging run participants to register as potential donors.  
Mandi Schwartz was a star player with Yale University's women's hockey team. (Yale University)

A number of bone marrow recipients, including Regina boy Lincoln Honoway, will also be present at the event. 

Schwartz said he wishes there had been a way to save the life of his daughter, who was a star hockey player at Yale University in the U.S.

He said he hopes Sunday's event will help encourage more people in Saskatchewan to sign up to the donor network. 

"I've talked to people who have been donors," said Schwartz.

"There's no special gift or special feeling in their life as knowing that they've saved someone's life."

With files from CBC Radio's Saskatchewan Weekend