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"Walk 4 Courage" Cross Country Journey



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Four months ago, Stacie Eichinger packed her entire life in a tiny cart, and set off on a 3,800 mile cross-country journey, completely alone. Naturally, she's had some close calls along the way.

"I had a crazy encounter with a moose in Idaho. That was slightly terrifying," said Eichinger.

There have been other setbacks as well.

"I have really nasty days when it's really hot and muggy out, and I'm like 'why am I out here doing this?'." said Eichinger.

In the end, she says it's for a good cause. Beads of courage helps children cope with serious illnesses. Eichinger began volunteering for the organization three years ago. She says she knew they would be the perfect organization to do something like this for.

"Basically, (the children) can tell their entire life story of what they've gone through, through these beads," said Eichinger.

Stacie says the feedback she's gotten from the children has been overwhelmingly rewarding. Her project is called "Walk 4 Courage." It began in May in Washington state, and will end in Savannah, Georgia. She plans to visit at least twenty different hospitals across the country by February. And share her own bead, a symbolic shoe, with children in need.

On Tuesday, Stacie was making her way to Sioux Falls from Bridgewater, SD. It's about a thirty five mile flat hike, but that's nothing compared to the almost 1,800 miles she has already covered.

Traveling alone, Stacie has learned to get creative with sleeping spaces.

"Every once in a while I'll just have to pick a spot somewhere hiding out on the side of the road somewhere and just stuff camp," said Eichinger.

She admits these less than ideal scenarios have led her to second guess her journey. But, then she remembers the children that inspired her to set out in the first place.

"I could quit. That option's always there. But, then I think about them and I think about the journeys they have to face and they can't quit...they have to keep going. So it's like they can't quit, then neither can I."

Stacie should reach Sioux Falls sometime on Wednesday. To learn more about her journey, visit her facebook page or website, www.walk4courage.com

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