American mountain climber and hiker Stacey Kozel, whose very effort of putting one foot in front of the other each day is in itself an accomplishment, is currently embarking on another epic adventure. What Stacey challenges herself with are the goals she sets herself to hike over miles of difficult terrain as she pursues some of the toughest country that make up the longest trails in the USA. Now 41, Stacey has suffered from Lupus—a chronic incurable inflammatory disease that attacks the immune system, since she was a teenager. It impacts her in different ways from her spine to her lungs and stomach and has resulted in her becoming a quadriplegic. Not that her complex medical condition has prevented her from living every day to the fullest. With the aid of an exoskeletal Stacey has hiked the 2,189 miles of the Appalachian Trial and has just begin to tackle the 2650 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail of the U.S. from the Mexican to the Canadian borders. And she hikes alone, not wanting to slow down other hikers or try to keep up with them. Chris Stafford caught up with her in the mountains of Southern California.
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