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Saskatchewan hockey player looking for a hero

Everyone has had the "it's a small world" experience - you know someone, who has a relative, who has a friend and they have an amazing story or need your help or you meet a friend's former teammate's sister.
Cards like this one have been passed around to try to find someone to help Mandi Schwartz, the Saskatchewan female hockey player who has no later than the end of August to find a bone marrow donor.

Everyone has had the "it's a small world" experience - you know someone, who has a relative, who has a friend and they have an amazing story or need your help or you meet a friend's former teammate's sister.

Whether that is your reason, or the fact this person's brother was drafted in the NHL's first round by the St. Louis Blues, or that she is an amazing person who deserves a chance or that she simply needs to find someone to save her life - everyone needs to do what they can no matter what the reason.

Mandi Schwartz is the 22-year-old junior at Yale University and plays hockey on the women's team. She has been making international headlines, as she looks for an absolutely safe stem cell transplant donor to step forward and become her hero.

Schwartz was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia in 2008. After intense chemotherapy treatments the cancer returned six months ago. Now Schwartz is running out of time to find a perfect donor.

A bone-marrow donor in Germany has a nine out of 10 match and even that isn't the perfect answer.

The reason it has been difficult to find a perfect match is because of Schwartz's German, Ukrainian and Russian heritage a perfect match is essential because, if the donor's cells realize they aren't in their natural host they can cause suffering and even death.

Schwartz's best chance may be through cord blood. After the birth of a new baby, the cord blood can be saved and packaged in a kit, which donors can requests to have sent to them and then once used after the birth the kit can be sent to Become My Hero. There it is tested and stored. The new baby and mother will experience no harm or pain and possibly help save a life while creating a new one.

Her family and friends have all tested to see if they would be a match and the best result was a seven out of 10 DNA match from her younger brother Jaden, who graduated from Notre Dame High School earlier this month. He played his first season with the Tri-City Storm of USHL and was drafted 14th overall Saturday, on his 18th birthday, by the St. Louis Blues.

Jaden and his brother Rylan played one season together with the Notre Dame Hounds before he went to Colorado College and Jaden went to Tri-City.

Like so many in Wilcox, hockey is life. For Schwartz it was a sign of relief and strength when she beat her cancer the first time and was able to start skating and training again. Now the hope is she will once again one day be able to train and skate and fulfill every hockey player's dream of playing for a Canadian Olympic Hockey Team.

People coast to coast are making the effort to spread the word to try to find a hero for the Saskatchewan hockey star.

Brochures are being passed around, her friends are talking to doctors and hospitals to ask if they can inform expectant mothers about how they can help, even in the Battlefords and surrounding area. Local, provincial, national and international stories have been written and a Facebook group has started with 8,873 registered as of Tuesday.

In April, Yale University held a bone marrow drive and over 700 people took part hoping to help. Although no one matched with Schwartz's DNA, one person from the Yale drive was a perfect match for another patient. There is a chance and the more people who know and attempt to be a match for Schwartz, the better chance a life will be saved.

The website is for the cause is and everyone can follow her on Twitter at MandisHeroes.

The message everyone needs to know is that "You don't need superpowers to save a life,"