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“Now that it happened to me, I hope people read and I hope people care. I hope people donate, because their blood saves people’s families. I don’t think there’s any words in the world that could describe what their blood means.” —Kenzie Schienebeck, blood recipient

Kenzie Schienebeck and her husband Christian were expecting their third child in 2018. “We didn’t know the gender yet, but I had a dream when all this happened that it was a little boy who looked exactly like my youngest but with lighter hair,” said Kenzie, mother of two boys and Mrs. Price County, Wisconsin, 2019.

At a prenatal ultrasound however, Kenzie and Christian learned that they had experienced a miscarriage. A few days later, Kenzie began to hemorrhage uncontrollably. “I expected to be bleeding after miscarrying, but blood was gushing out of me,” remembered Kenzie. “When I came to, my husband was calling 911.” In and out of consciousness, Kenzie needed emergency surgery and has since made a full recovery.

“The ambulance ride to the hospital, during surgery, the hours after surgery and day after—I needed blood transfusions to replace the 5 liters of blood I lost. I feel that people donate to do a good deed but I want them to know their blood is the key to saving lives. If it was not for their gracious donations, my husband would be a widow, my children would have no mother, and I would not be here telling my story or following my dreams,” said Kenzie. “I want to speak out and I want others to know how important their blood is!”

Kenzie is also determined to clear the stigma around miscarriage. “Not everyone understands that it affects the whole family. But I have so much strength now, and I want to use it to raise awareness. You never know when it’ll be you or your family that goes through it – never in a million years did I think it would be my family. I want to say thank you and I hope that my story will inspire others to donate blood.”