A paralyzed Ohio woman is making her dream to hike the Appalachian Trail into a reality.
Stacey Kozel was involved in a car crash in 2013. Coupled with her previous diagnosis of lupus, she permanently lost her ability to walk.
“I couldn’t roll over, couldn’t even lift up my head," she explained in an interview.
The doctors warned her she would never stand up on her two feet again, but Kozel never lost hope. The 41-year-old woman convinced her insurance company to spend $91,000 for computer-generated C-braces that would move her legs for her.
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Three months later, she’s on her way to fulfill her dream to conquer the Appalachian Trail — which runs 2,180 miles from Georgia to Maine.
“It’s been a challenge. I’ve actually had to get on my butt and scoot in some spots where other people might just use their legs,” she said.
Kozel added she is making about 10 miles a day, and her journey will be a slow one because she has to get off the trails everyday to recharge her leg braces.
Yet, she does not consider the time wasted because it has allowed her to make a lot of friends along the way.
"No one would think I would be hiking the Appalachian Trail right now,” Kozel said. “I just don’t want people to give up because anything is possible.”