Local News

March 27, 2013

Born with no time to live, daughter turns 15 today

LOGANSPORT — When Julie Martinez gave birth to her daughter Alexandra Darland 15 years ago today, the doctor told her no one at the hospital had one ounce of hope for her child.

“She will have a seizure and she will die,” Martinez recalled the doctor saying. “And she’s going to be 15 on Wednesday.”

Born premature at 26 weeks and weighing 3 pounds, Alexandra was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, scoliosis and hydrocephalus, a condition in which an abnormal amount of fluid accumulates in brain cavities. She is also mostly blind and suffers from seizures and contractures, the permanent shortening of muscles and joints.

Alexandra requires total care. Her parents lift her in and out of her wheelchair, bathe her and feed her using a gastric feeding tube.

At about 4 feet tall, Alexandra has grown out of the special car seat she uses when she travels. A wheelchair van would allow her to travel safely, but their $30,000 to $40,000 price tags are yet another element in the long list of things Alexandra has had to overcome.

Martinez said most children with her daughter’s ailments eventually leave home to live at professional care centers.

“We want to keep her at home as long as we can but I can’t travel with her unsafe either,” she said. “If I can’t get all the things that I need to take care of her at home, I won’t be able to keep her at home. That’s my fear.”

In an effort to get a wheelchair-accessible vehicle for Alexandra so she can remain at home, Martinez entered her into a nationwide contest hosted by the National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association coinciding with National Mobility Awareness Month, observed in March. People can participate in the contest by voting online once a day for the entrant they think is most deserving to win a custom wheelchair-accessible vehicle.

The winner will be the entrant with the most votes by May 10. People can vote for Alexandra by visiting, clicking “Enter or Vote Now” and searching for Alexandra Darland in Logansport.

Martinez said Alexandra’s biological father, a Logansport resident, doesn’t visit her. Her stepfather, Abraham Martinez, has been helping take care of her since she was 2 years old. For ten years, he stayed at home with Alexandra while she worked.

“He has been her father since she was 2,” Julie Martinez said. “She loves him. He just has to clear his throat and she gets really happy. He knows exactly what she needs. If she’s fussy and I can’t figure it out, he’ll just go in there and move her or do something and it works every time.”

Translated by Julie Martinez while he spoke in Spanish, Abraham Martinez said he’s never seen Alexandra as a burden and that he loves her very much.

“It’s a father-daughter relationship,” Abraham Martinez said. “It’s hard to see her suffer.”

Julie Martinez said Alexandra loves attending Logansport High School, where she is a freshman. She also enjoys visiting parks and listening to music — she admires Bachata, Salsa, One Direction and Taylor Swift.

“Because she can’t see very well, her hearing is like superhero hearing,” Julie Martinez said.

Julie Martinez said she nicknamed Alexandra “sassafras” the day she was born for her sassy, spunky and fun-loving personality.

“She’s so happy,” she said, adding Alexandra finds it hilarious when people sneeze. “If she’s awake nine hours, she’s laughing eight and a half of those hours.”

Mitchell Kirk is a staff reporter at the Pharos-Tribune. He can be reached at 574-732-5130 or

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • NWS-PT072314 Delphi Play2.jpg 'Under the sea': Delphi children ready for musical DELPHI — Young actors and actresses will tell the story of a young mermaid dreaming about being human in Disney’s “The Little Mermaid Jr.” this weekend.The Stargazers Children’s Theatre, a program through Delphi’s public library, is presenting the mu

    July 23, 2014 3 Photos

  • NWS-PT072314 Matthew Shuey mugshot - CLG [Duplicate] Police: Peru man punched officer in the face PERU — A 51-year-old Peru man was arrested after flipping off a police officer and punching him in the nose.According to court documents released Tuesday, Peru Officer Matthew Feller was on patrol Friday when he observed Matt Shuey lean out his car w

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Gay couples' lawyers object to full-court hearing INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Attorneys on either side of a lawsuit over Indiana’s overthrown gay marriage ban are wrangling over how many federal judges should hear the state’s appeal, a technical issue that could make a big difference.Those representing gay

    July 23, 2014

  • Police Blotter: July 22, 2014 Have a tip? Anyone with information on a crime is encouraged to call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS. Information leading to an arrest or conviction could lead to a reward of up to $1,000.

    July 22, 2014

  • One dead, one seriously injured in crash on Division Road

    A Logansport man was killed and another was seriously injured in a single-vehicle crash Monday on Division Road.

    July 22, 2014

  • NWS-PT072214 Western Wildfires.jpg Local volunteer to help wildfire victims A Flora resident will be among the volunteers helping those affected by the wildfires in Washington State.Pat Rinehart was scheduled to fly out of Indianapolis International Airport Monday afternoon and join fellow American Red Cross volunteers at th

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • NWS-PT072214 Lauren Ray.jpg Logansport graduate makes a go at Hollywood “Instincta,” the latest film by a 2008 Logansport High School graduate, will be screened at the Gen Con Indy Film Festival in Indianapolis in August.It is an action, thriller cop drama short film, starring Logansport native Lauren Zehner Ray, Michael

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • EDU-PT072314 whitley lehr.jpg School's top honor goes to local grad Whitley Lehr chose Indiana University Kokomo because of its excellent School of Nursing. Receiving the campus’ most prestigious scholarships sealed the deal for each of her. The 18-year-old Delphi student called the Herbert Scholarship “a huge blessi

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • NWS-PT072214-Gwin3-BCM Landis Elementary teacher back from China experience Steve Gwin has hundreds of pictures already on his new laptop, just months after buying it. He spent the month of June in China teaching to kids at two schools and chronicled about each adventure.Gwin teaches first grade at Landis Elementary and got

    July 22, 2014 3 Photos

  • Four injured when motorcycles collide Four people were injured Sunday when a motorcycle rear-ended another motorcycle. The accident occurred at 4:06 p.m. Sunday on the ramp from U.S. 35 North at U.S. 24, according to Cass County Sheriff Deputy Brad Craven. Riding a 2012 Harley-Davidson,

    July 21, 2014

Featured Ads
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
AP Video
Judge Ponders Overturning Colo. Gay Marriage Ban Airlines Halt Travel to Israel Amid Violence NYPD Chief Calls for 'use of Force' Retraining VA Nominee McDonald Goes Before Congress Bush: Don't Worry, Sugarland Isn't Breaking Up US Official: Most Migrant Children to Be Removed Police Probing Brooklyn Bridge Flag Switch CDC Head Concerned About a Post-antibiotic Era Raw: First Lady Says `Drink Up' More Water Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law Holder Urges Bipartisanship on Immigration Raw: Truck, Train Crash Leads to Fireball US Airlines Cancel Israel Flights Obama Signs Workforce Training Law Crash Victims' Remains Reach Ukraine-held City Diplomatic Push Intensifies to End War in Gaza Cat Fans Lap Up Feline Film Festival Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.

The Pence administration continues to cut Indiana agency budgets despite a state surplus of $2 billion. Is this wise management of state funds?

Not sure
     View Results