You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.


  • ePAPER

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks


Welcome to

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on

Lake Worth girl, 15, who can’t walk gets $1,900 transfer chair lift

When you think about it, it’s the simple things in life that are often taken for granted.

A stroll through the park. Feeling hot sand between your toes on the beach. Getting out of bed to start your day.

For Alysha Marerro, 15, these routine actions are anything but.

READ: PBSO says ‘bad batch’ of drugs in Lake Worth causes overdose spike

Alysha was born with spina bifida, a congenital defect of the spine in which part of the spinal cord is exposed.

She never had any feeling from the waist down. A wheelchair became her best friend.

Alysha, who lives in Lake Worth with her mom, twin sister and younger brother, also has hydrocephalus, where fluid accumulates in the brain, enlarging the head and sometimes causing brain damage.

As if that wasn’t enough, at age 4, Alyshawas diagnosed with scoliosis, an abnormal curvature of the spine.

She’s had five major surgeries, more than any young child should ever have to endure.

“It’s been hard,” Alysha says barely above a whisper. “I can’t do the things everybody else does.”

SEE ALSO: Can colorful tile mural smashed by truck saved?

That changed just a little bit this past week when a $1,900 transfer lift chair was donated to Alysha by Project Access, a Palm Beach Medical Society program started in 2005 that offers health care to low-income families.

The American Association of Caregiving Youth connected Alysha’s family to the medical society.

“This chair will allow Alysha to be more of an every-day teenager,” said Lauren Stoops, the project’s director.

The chair will make it easier for Alysha’s family to get her in and out of a car or bed. The family has to work together to move Alysha, an eighth-grader at Tradewinds Middle School in Greenacres, from her wheelchair to the shower or to wherever she needs to go.

If there is only one person around, that means Alysha must stay put until someone else comes home.

“I’ve asked God to forgive me because there are times when I say, ‘I can’t do this anymore,” says Marisol Rodriguez, Alysha’s mom. “It’s very hard, especially because she’s a twin. Imagine me taking her sister to The Rapids and then I have to say to Alysha, you can’t come. That breaks my heart.”

Rodriguez, a 51-year-old single, stay-at-home mom, says caring for a child with the kind of disabilities Alysha has is physically and mentally draining.

“I cry, I pray, I just take it one day at a time,” she says. “I lock myself in a room sometimes, but I don’t know of anyone who can take care of Alysha the way I can.”

The lift chair is a big help.

Often, Rodriquez, who only stands 5-feet-tall, has carried Alysha on her back. But as her daughter has grown — Alysha weighs 150 pounds — that’s no longer possible.

“When you have the kind of disability she has, it doubles the weight,” Rodriguez says. “With the chair, I can transfer her from the bed to anywhere in the house. I don’t have to lift her at all.”

Alysha calls the chair, which can hold up to 220 pounds, “awesome.”

“I can go places more and hang out with friends,” she says. “Before, life was boring because I couldn’t really do anything.”

Alysha tries to be as normal as possible. Her favorite subject is science, mostly because she likes to do experiments.

That subject will come in handy as Alysha gets older. Her dream is to become a doctor.

“I want to help people like myself,” she says.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Local

Video shows Delta pilot hit women after Fort Lauderdale-Atlanta flight
Video shows Delta pilot hit women after Fort Lauderdale-Atlanta flight

The latest viral airline video to circulate the web shows a Delta Air Lines pilot apparently smack one woman during a scuffle between two women at an Atlanta airport following a flight from Fort Lauderdale, according to media sources. The video of the April 21 fight was first shared by TMZ on Saturday, and has since made the rounds on social media...
NEW: Man caught on video snatching purse at Royal Palm restaurant
NEW: Man caught on video snatching purse at Royal Palm restaurant

A man is being sought by the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office after he allegedly snatched a purse from a victim at a Royal Palm Beach restaurant. Download our PostNOW app to get the latest Breaking News The man was captured on surveillance video running away after taking the purse. He is described as wearing a T-short, shorts, sneakers and...
NEW: Two displaced after mobile home fire in Hobe Sound
NEW: Two displaced after mobile home fire in Hobe Sound

Two people were displaced from their mobile home after it caught fire early Sunday, the American Red Cross reports. The blaze at the home on Southeast Red Bird Circle, just off Southeast Osprey Street between Federal and Dixie highways, was put out Sunday. Volunteers provided the two residents with food, clothing and temporary lodging, Red Cross reports...
Couple takes Alzheimer’s curves as they come
Couple takes Alzheimer’s curves as they come

HIGHLAND PARK, Ill. — Cheryl Levin-Folio can’t anticipate every new milestone of memory loss as she and her husband, Michael Folio, navigate his Alzheimer’s disease. Sometimes quick thinking comes in handy, as it did when Michael forgot one day to take off his clothes before stepping into the shower. Rather than correct her husband...
Take care of your savings by taking care of your brain
Take care of your savings by taking care of your brain

Grab a bowl of berries and walk up a steep hill. Now you’re ready to learn three other ways to save your retirement fund. Confused? The advice is simplistic and ignores the devastating financial toll dementia-related expenses often add to a person’s struggle with the disease, but if there are some low-cost and relatively easy ways to delay...
More Stories