Woman with paralysis hikes the Appalachian Trail

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Hiking the Appalachian Trail is no easy feat, even under all the best circumstances.

With Stacey Kozel's circumstances, attempting the hike from Maine to Georgia, alone, seems nearly impossible.

The 41-year-old from Medina, Ohio has been paralyzed the last two years due to severe lupus.

According to the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, only 1 in 4 people who attempt to hike the entire trail actually complete it.

Kozel, who began her journey in March, has completed approximately 900 miles of the trail.

She hopes to reach the halfway mark of the 2,200 mile trek by July 4th.


Kozel is able to undertake this journey thanks to the high tech braces that allow her to walk.

She is hoping that by completing the trail she can show insurance what people with paralysis can do with the proper equipment.

"My goal is to bring awareness to these braces and hopefully get more people out of wheelchairs and out exploring the world," she wrote. "When insurance companies deny people due to 'it is not necessary,' I hope my story will prove the opposite. I hope to see everyone out there on the trail!"

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