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Tucson woman walking across America to inspire sick children

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Photo: Video by kgun9.com

Tucson woman walking across America to inspire sick children

By Taylor Higgins . CREATED Sep 23, 2013

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - One Tucson woman is on a mission -- to walk more than 35-hundred miles across America. But it's not for her -- or her health. She's visiting hospitals to inspire sick kids -- courageously battling an illness.

Stacie Eichinger volunteers for Beads of Courage -- a Tucson organization that helps children deal with the emotional effects of being sick.

"For every procedure that a child receives, there is a specific bead that represents that procedure," Eichinger said. "So white beads are for chemo, glow in the dark beads is radiation. Black beads are for every shot they get."

Eichinger says she logs an average of about 20 to 25 miles a day, but she says it's the courage of the sick children she meets that keep her feet moving.

"I just kind of wonder why I am out doing this, then I think of some of the kids that I've had the privilege to meet at the hospitals that I have visited on the way and see their strength and their courage and what they have to go through on a day to day basis, and it is really inspiring, Eichinger said.

Along the way -- Eichinger stopped in Minnesota to visit Lizzie Bell - a Tucson girl born with a blood disorder that requires frequent blood transfusions. Bell underwent a successful bone marrow transplant in July.