Now she's sharing her story with the world, from almost dying to an extraordinary facial surgery that has given her a new start.
Katie Stubblefield at Ronald McDonald House in Cleveland, Ohio.
Ms Schneider had a hard life, born with drugs in her system to a drug addicted mother who died when she was only 13-years-old.
The GoFundMe page aims to raise US$50,000 to help pay for Katie and her family's needs for the coming year. Part of this involved moving her eyes more into alignment by breaking bones and using a distraction device in preparation for her transplant. And she is speaking about her surgery to help warn of the lasting harms of suicide.
That was a near-total face transplant.
Katie's new face was donated by the family of Adrea Schneider, a 31-year-old mother-of-one who who died as the result of a drug overdose. Though she tried to live a normal life, people would stare and whisper to each other about her face. While her doctors first focused on reconstruction to fix the damage she had done to her face, they were able to replace her face with one from a donor - although the entire process spanned three years.
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The operation was the Cleveland Clinic's third face transplant and the 40 in the world.
A surgeon eventually suggested the family consider a face transplant - a procedure they'd never heard of.
Just over a year later, she received her face transplant, which restored her face structure, her ability to chew, swallow and breathe on her own for the first time since the incident. "Forget the face transplant; we're talking about just being alive".
Ms Stubblefield waited for a transplant for over a year, before a matching donor was found.
"When my parents helped explain everything to me, I was very excited to get a face again and to have function again", she said.
To prepare for the surgery, doctors used 3D printing to assist with reconstructing about 90 per cent of her jaw, using her older sister Olivia McCay as a model.
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The young girl's journey in search of a functional face started in March 2016 when she was put on a waiting list.
There is the chance of numerous complications, including that her body will reject the new face and it will have to be removed.
He said: "Her brain was basically exposed, and I mean, we're talking seizures and infections and all kinds of problems".
But she intends to pick up where she left off, she told National Geographic, going to college and perhaps pursuing a career in counseling.
Her transplant took place on May 4, 2017, more than three years after her injury.
She goes through physical and occupational therapy, takes Braille lessons, sees a speech therapist, and will have to take immunosuppressive drugs for the rest of her life, just so her immune system won't attack her transplanted tissues.
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If you or someone you know is in crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 or text TALK to 741741.