8-year-old girl with 3D-printed hand reaches goal of throwing first pitch at every MLB stadium
Her prosthesis is made possible by the Israeli R&D lab of Stratasys, a 3D printing giant.
Mission accomplished: Hailey Dawson, the 8-year-old girl who wanted to throw out the first pitch at every Major League Baseball stadium before the end of the current season.
With the help of her parents, Yong and Greg, she just accomplished her goal: all with one hand. Hailey threw out her 30th first pitch at Angel Stadium before the Los Angeles Angels faced the Seattle Mariners this week.
15 of 30 completed so far. Thank you to all that have helped Hailey every step of the way so far. We appreciate all of you. Thank you @LGio27 for catching her pitch for the @whitesox. It was dab worthy :-) @MLB pic.twitter.com/ajifY33SK2— Haileys_hand (@haileys_hand) June 23, 2018
Hailey was born with an undeveloped right hand due to a rare birth defect called Poland's Syndrome. She is without three fingers, and her hand is non-functional.
Doctors told Hailey’s mother that when Hailey grew up, she could be fitted with a custom prosthetic hand. But such devices can cost more than $25,000 with traditional production methods, so it’s an exorbitant sum for most families. That's not accounting for the fact that the children would need increasingly larger prosthetics as they grow.
Yong Dawson wasn't quite satisfied with that. She took to the internet, researching ways to help build Hailey a hand at a lower cost and without waiting until Hailey is older.
That's when she found a group of engineering students at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, who agreed to take on the task. The engineers crafted a robotic hand using technology developed by Stratasys, a 3D-printing company that began in Israel and now has offices both in Israel and the U.S.
Fitted with her super-cool robotic hand, Hailey's first MLB pitch came in August 2015, to Baltimore Orioles pitcher Manny Machado.
Hailey didn't stop at baseball, though. The young fan also appeared at a Las Vegas Golden Knights hockey game to drop the puck.
So what's next for Hailey? Continuing to raise awareness for Poland Syndrome and for the wonders of 3D printing, that's what. To that, we say: Batter up!
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