Survivor of meningitis urging lawmakers to pass mandatory vaccine

(MGN Online)

Working in partnership with our parent company, Sinclair Broadcast Group, we believe it's a privilege and a responsibility to serve you during this National Immunization Awareness month.

A woman who lost her hands and legs to bacterial meningitis -- is fighting to get every college student in America protected from every strain of the disease.

Right now in several states, the Meningitis-C vaccine is mandatory -- but she wants the Meningitis-B vaccine included, too.

In Sinclair Cares, she sat down with our Delaine Mathieu to talk about the disease that nearly killed her and the mission that keeps her fighting.

She's the voice for survivors of meningitis all over the world.

Twenty-eight-year-old Jamie Schanbaum has made a name for herself as the girl who's saving lives.

In 2008, as a student at the University of Texas at Austin, Jamie contracted meningococcal meningitis, an infection that attacks the tissue around the brain and spinal chord.

She lost both legs below the knee, the majority of both hands and spent seven months in the hospital.

Urging lawmakers to create a law requiring students who live on campus to get the meningitis vaccine -- it passed.

Even though, it's typically spread in places like dormitories -- Jamie got it while living off campus -- and knew more had to be done.

In 2011, after the death of a Texas A&M student who also lived off campus -- she helped get the law amended to include all college students in Texas, period.

This young girl, with an unstoppable attitude, refusing to let meningitis ruin her life, or anyone else’s.

Since 2011, immunization rates have gone up by 50 percent in Texas, with more than 325,000 students getting vaccinated every year.