Stacey Kozel lives in Medina, Ohio. The 41-year-old woman was diagnosed with lupus at the age of 19, an autoimmune disease that can target any part of the body. Although it can be debilitating, Kozel wasn’t about to let it get in the way of her dreams. The woman did something that most people wouldn’t ever do – even without the extra obstacle of a disability.
She wanted to hike the Appalachian Trail. That’s right. All 2,190 miles of it. Alone.
The only problem was that she was in a wheelchair. She decided to find away around the fact that she couldn’t use her legs easily and found these braces. The computerized mechanisms help to bend her legs at the knees and will last just about two days with each charge.
She began the long, difficult hike alone – a feat that only 4 people have been reported to complete – and relied on her incredible will to keep going. At one point, her right leg brace no longer worked. For 200 miles, she continued on until she could get it fixed, but that didn’t stop her. As soon as it was working again, she got back on the trail.
Kozel complete the most difficult part of the trail, and says that it was even more difficult because she had to protect the leg braces from the rain as they are not water-proof.
She began her hike on March 24, 2016, and hopes to have come to the halfway point by July 4, 2016. It is an impressive feat, and it reminds us that life is about following our dreams…even if they seem impossible!
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