FAIR LAWN, N.J. — Mobility has become more and more of an issue for the Visbal family of Fair Lawn.
The youngest member, 6-year-old Makayla, needs a wheelchair after being diagnosed with microcephaly (smallness of the head) and cerebral palsy at a young age.
The difficulties led the family to seek help from the community to buy a wheelchair-accessible vehicle for her through a GoFundMe campaign .
Mother Marlene Visbal said it felt like an overwhelming amount of work to care for her youngest daughter plus her three other children. But it's been worth every minute, she said.
"She beat the odds," Marlene Visbal told Daily Voice. "Doctors said she wasn't going to make it but she's still here six years strong. She's a fighter. She's very strong, strongest person I know.
"She's just our little angel."
As the years went on it became more difficult to move Makayla as she grew. Now it is hard for Marlene to lift her daughter in and out of vehicles, necessitating the need for a new ride.
The family hopes to raise $60,000 for the wheelchair-accessible van. The GoFundMe account had raised about $2,100 as of Monday, Oct. 19.
Marlene Visbal said she knows many neighbors through her son Giovanni's football team and daughter Magdalena's cheerleading. It took more than her friends to push toward the new vehicle though.
"We're very thankful, very grateful and we're very blessed that people have donated money to Makayla," her mother said. "It means the world to my family."
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