After serious crash, woman finds career helping others donate blood

- It’s a good day when Maggie Schneider can meander around the lakes with her best buddy Lefty.

“So this is my baby. We go for long walks, and he's such a good dog," she said of Lefty.

Since the day they met they’ve walked parallel lives. Each with a fragile left leg. His inherited, hers unforeseen.

“He had had major surgeries right before we adopted him," she said. "The last thing that I remember before the accident was knowing I was going to get into an accident.”

On Thanksgiving in 2004, Maggie was driving back to school at the University of Michigan when life took a near-deadly turn.

“I was driving on the freeway, I ended up hitting black ice under an overpass, corrected to avoid hitting another car and I ended up rolling my car eight times on the freeway going 70 miles an hour,” she said.

An off-duty nurse was in the car behind Maggie. Her quick response stopped massive bleeding and saved Maggie’s life. That was miracle number one.

"She was coming off her night shift...followed my car, assessed my injuries and called 911, and we believe she was the one who put a tourniquet on my leg.”

Maggie was airlifted to a nearby trauma center where dozens upon dozens of units of AB positive blood were waiting for her - miracle number two.

“We believe the count is approximately 60 units of blood through recovery, complications and the initial one that saved my life. That's 60 people donating to save my life.”

Those blood donors, total strangers, not only saved Maggie, they changed her. Maggie had donated blood in high school, but now she wanted to make saving lives part of her life. So she threw herself into volunteering with Memorial Blood Centers in the Twin Cities.

“Then they got me into telling my story a little bit, and finally a position opened in our donor recruitment center. It seemed like a perfect fit, and I'm having so much fun.”

Twelve years after her accident, Maggie has found her calling. Turning her story into a full-time career. And on days like this, when she can meander around the room and thank each donor personally, it’s a good day.

“Just knowing that one out of three people will need blood in their lifetime.. that's a really big deal, and that can only come from volunteer donors,” she said.

There is an urgent need in Minnesota for donors with blood types A negative, B negative and O negative and a constant need for all blood types. For more information on donating, click here.

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