In a state where baseball Hall of Famer Rod Carew is legend, more than 500 mourners turned out on a cold, gray Sunday morning to say their goodbyes to his daughter Michelle, 18, who died Wednesday of leukemia at Children’s Hospital of Orange County. She was buried in the family plot at United Hebrew Brotherhood Cemetery in Richfield, Minn., a few miles from where she and her two sisters were born.
The eulogy by Carew, a former player for the Minnesota Twins and Angels, included his thanks to the public for supporting the Minneapolis-based National Marrow Donor Program, for which Michelle had become a national symbol. “I know [Michelle] would like us to thank you on behalf of her and all the cancer patients and their families all around the country,” he said.
Among the mourners in attendance at the funeral, held in the B’Nai Emet Synagogue in the suburb of St. Louis Park, were current Twin Kirby Puckett and U.S. Sen. Paul Wellstone.
Largely as a result of the Carew family’s appeals, the donor registry’s rolls total 2 million, up from 1.5 million last year. Michelle never found a suitable bone marrow donor.