The smile on Lynn Moss’ face as she tested her new stair lift Friday could have lit up all of the Alle-Kiski Valley. On a good day, Moss, 42, used to have to hobble up the stairs on crutches in her New Kensington home. On a bad day, she would have to crawl. But now, thanks to Carl D’Alicandro and his company, A+ StairLifts of Pittsburgh, Moss can glide up the stairs.
D’Alicandro donated and installed the lift for Moss, who lives with her aunt, Deborah Lloyd, and her aunt’s fiance, Bill Jenkins.
“My aunt doesn’t like when I say this, but she’s an angel from God,” Moss said moments before testing out her new ride. “She takes such good care of me, and I don’t want to be a burden.”
“This allows me to regain some of my independence.”
Moss has been fighting to achieve that freedom for quite some time. She was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 12. That has resulted in kidney failure that requires her to go to dialysis three times a week. To complicate it all are tremors. They can hit her in the middle of a step, striking so violently that they stop her in her tracks.
“They’ve always been there, but recently they’ve been worse,” Lloyd said.
They have been so bad lately that Moss had to spend more than two weeks recently in HealthSouth Harmarville Rehabilitation Hospital. When Lloyd called D’Alicandro at his Monroeville store at the recommendation of the rehab center, he knew how to help. Folks have been donating used stair lifts to D’Alicandro for years. He had one perfect for Moss, and he could install it for free — something important because Moss is on Medicaid.
“It’s so great to see a family like this sticking together through all of this,” D’Alicandro said. “To see the look on Lynn’s face as she went up the stairs, it was just great.
“It was so rewarding,” he said. “That smile was just awesome.”
Lloyd said there was never a doubt about her taking care of her niece. “She’s family,” said Lloyd, a former nurse. “As long as I have breath in my body, she’ll be with me.”
After taking her first ride, Moss’ spirits couldn’t be any higher. “I’m going to bling that thing out,” she joked, about how she would decorate the chair. “I hope I don’t get a speeding ticket.”
Moss said she hopes she can eventually make enough progress to regain even more of her freedom.
“I used to live in Louisiana,” she said. “I made chocolates and candles and cards.
“I hope to get back to something like that. I want to do something that makes people happy. I know I have that ability in me.”
Moss said she has a great role model to aspire to.
“When I grow up, I want to be like my aunt,” she said. “If it wasn’t for her, we’d all be walking around with our shirts on backwards and eating food out of a can.”