Lupus Stole Her Legs, Not Her Heart

Lupus stole Stacey Kozel’s use of her legs, but left her heart stronger than ever.

“I want to keep going and living life,” said the woman from Pennsylvania now walking from California to Washington.

Kozel is hiking the roughly 2,650 mile Pacific Crest Trail.  It’s a trip she says would take the average hiker five or six months.  She thinks it’ll take her closer to seven.

That’s because Stacey Kozel has Systemic Lupus, an autoimmune disease that can attack the body in a lot of different ways.  In Kozel’s case, it targeted her spinal cord and nervous system.  A flareup in 2014 left her unable to walk. She now spends most of her time in a wheelchair.

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