Despite 30-degree temperatures in Saskatoon hundreds of people still showed up for the 6th annual Breck Construction Run for Mandi on Sunday afternoon.
Lincoln Honoway from Regina and his family were one of the special guests and honoured at the fun run.
“We’re just so happy to join the family on the quest to get more people to be stem-cell donors,” said Lincoln’s mom Erica Honoway.
In December of 2016 four-year-old Lincoln came home to Regina after spending months in the Alberta Children’s Hospital as a result of being diagnosed with aplastic anemia when he was three.
The condition is a deficiency of all types of blood cells caused by a bone marrow development failure.
“We’ve had some up’s and downs,” Erica said, as Lincoln’s recovering from a bone marrow transplant. “We’ve had a few hospital admissions, but we’re three weeks away from him being off his meds and cured.”
Erica said almost losing Lincoln has made her family stronger.
“Every time I line up four milk cups or look at four faces in the back of the car I’m just so grateful,” she said. “I’ll never take for granted that I got to keep him.”
Mandi Schwartz was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia in December 2008 during her junior year at Yale where she played hockey with the Yale Bulldogs.
Schwartz died in April of 2011 and the run for Mandi was started to honour her life and raise awareness for stem-cell donors.
“It’s definitely grown this year and the one-match stem-cell donor program has really helped that,” said dad Rick Schwartz.
At this year’s event, the Run for Mandi also hosted a stem cell swab event with Canadian Blood Services.
“We put you on a registry and match you on a cell basis,” said Territory Manager Darrin Desmedt about the one match program.
Desmedt said they signed up around 100 people at the run.