Sandra Schmirler - Fight Of Her Life
Fight of Her Life
In June 1999, shortly after Schmirler's father Art died of esophageal cancer, Schmirler's daughter Jenna was born. Throughout the pregnancy Schmirler suffered from digestive problems and excruciating back pains, but her doctors told her that they were pregnancy related. When the problems did not go away after Jenna was born, her doctors did further tests and found a fist-sized, malignant tumor directly behind Schmirler's heart.
Schmirler did not have the strength to compete at curling while she was undergoing chemotherapy and radiation treatment, but she remained involved as much as she could. From her sickbed she worked with the rest of her rink to coordinate the details of her comeback, making sure that they had sponsors lined up and uniform jackets picked out. "She was the Skip," Gudereit later recalled to Adrian Wojnarowski of the Bergen County, New Jersey, Record. "She wanted everything right when she came back."
But Schmirler never came back. She passed away early in the morning of March 2, 2000.