A Yale Hockey player successfully underwent a stem-cell transplant on Wednesday to save her life from severe leukaemia. Twenty-two-year old Mandi Schwartz was infused with umbilical cord blood during the procedure at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance at the University of Washington Medical Center.
Schwartz is likely to stay in the hospital for a month so that her doctor will monitor her white blood cell count.
The Saskatchewan native was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia about a couple of years ago and she has been undergoing chemotherapy.
Schwartz’s case was widely documented which led to the finding of two stem-cell donors who tested suitable for her.
Dr. Colleen Delaney, director of the Cord Blood Transplant Program at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center which forms part of the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, told the New York Times that there is a very low risk that the patient will reject the stem cell transplant. The bigger threat is that her cancer will return.
“She’s got a pretty aggressive disease, and our hope is that we are putting her in a pretty good place not to relapse,” Delaney said. “That’s her biggest battle.”
Schwartz’s cancer returned twice after going into remissions. She was supposed to undergo the stem-cell transplant last month but she had to go to chemotherapy when her cancer relapsed.