Schneider was a standout athlete at Crete High who, as a sophomore, was an All Conference, All State Honorable Mention varsity athlete on a basketball team that qualified for the state tournament. At age 16, she was diagnosed with malignant osteosarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer. Doctors placed a titanium rod inside her femur to replace the bone that was removed with the cancer. Her knee joint also is titanium.The team continues to do well:
Because a break or a fall could result in amputation of the leg, doctors told her she had to find alternative ways to compete. Her senior year at Doane, she joined a sitting volleyball team and was selected for the women's USA sitting volleyball team in Denver. She had to leave the team because of the danger the sport posed to her leg.
A short time later, she joined the Madonna Magic wheelchair basketball team and then attended a wheelchair basketball camp at the University of Arizona, where she was invited to join the university's women's wheelchair basketball team as a "fly-in."
U.S. stays unbeaten in pool play :: Sports :: Post-Tribune: "Great Britain simply didn't have the height or strength to match up with Americans Loraine Gonzales and Natalie Schneider, both playing in their first Paralympic Games. Team USA pounded the ball into the paint, helping Gonzales and Schneider combine for 23 points. Gonzales went for 14 and Schneider chipped in with nine."