Long before a crushing fall that left her paralyzed, Brenda Schultz bought – and sold – STARS calendars door to door.

“Myself, and the rest of my family, have always been thankful to STARS, even before I needed them,” says Brenda, who lives in Red Deer, AB. “Every time I saw the helicopter I knew someone was being helped and it made me feel good to know I was supporting a really great cause.”

In September, 2011, Brenda was flown by STARS herself following a nearly five-metre fall from an outdoor deck on a rural property in Central Alberta. She suffered a spinal cord injury that affected her from the waist down. While paramedics transported Brenda by ambulance to a landing zone, STARS pilots landed the helicopter at a nearby schoolyard in Alder Flats and flew her the rest of the way to University of Alberta Hospital in Edmonton, avoiding a longer transport by ground ambulance. “I am grateful that STARS was there when it was my turn to need them and they were able to get me to hospital quickly,” says Brenda.

Since her mission, Brenda has continued to give back to STARS in any way she can. Most recently, she volunteered for the 2013 STARS Alberta Lottery, which included speaking at the event launch at the Red Deer show home and appearing in the television commercials. During the winter, Brenda set up at sales booth at the Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre, selling STARS 2014 calendars – and, of course, highlighting that she is the featured patient story for the month of May.

Selling calendars is a rewarding experience, she said. Not only does she enjoy hearing stories from customers about their or their family’s experience with STARS, she knows that she is giving back and is confident the donations are being spent wisely. “I feel very proud because I know all the money raised was going toward saving a life, like mine,” says Brenda. “I know that the helicopters and fuel and the medical interior and everything else needed for patients is expensive and without donations these heroes could not rescue people.”

Click here to see Brenda’s 2013 STARS Lottery commercial.

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