New scientific and medical breakthroughs are being made every year, and while those are worth recognizing on their own merits, one 8-year-old girl with a 3D printed hand is celebrating in probably the best way possible.
Hailey Dawson, who was born with a rare medical condition called Poland syndrome, plans to toss out a “first pitch” throw in every Major League Baseball stadium. Although it’s an honor that doesn’t get bestowed on just anyone, Hailey is well on her way to achieving her goal — she threw out her 25th pitch this past week in Toronto.
Hailey was gifted her first prosthetic arm in 2015. Normally, prosthetics can cost tens of thousands of dollars, and Hailey required a new one every six months or so as she grew older. Therefore, the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) gave her a 3D printed prosthetic hand, a less costly and easy to produce option.
Her first pitch came shortly after that, in 2015, for the Baltimore Orioles. The Washington Nationals soon asked for Hailey to pitch for them, too, after which she asked her mother, Yong Dawson, “What’s next?”
“I said, ‘Do you want to throw it out for all 30 [teams]?’” Yong Dawson recalled. “She said ‘yes.’”
UNLV has continued to print new hands for Hailey, each representing a different logo of the various teams she has visited so far. And MLB players are always happy to give her autographs on her hand when she comes to throw for them.
One pitch in particular was probably among the most memorable — it was at Game 4 of the World Series last year, between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Houston Astros.
Are you ready @Dodgers! See you tomorrow. @kikehndez @TheRealMattKemp @yungjoc650 @YasielPuig @Cody_Bellinger @maxmuncy9 @YazmanianDVL08 @buehlersdayoff @erikgoedy @kenleyjansen74 @ClaytonKersh22 @RossStripling @Awood45 @alannarizzo @SportsNetLA @MLB pic.twitter.com/HoFZEvqttH— Haileys_hand (@haileys_hand) July 29, 2018
Pitch 22 for @Dbacks tonight! Can’t wait to get autographs on my new robotic hand. @SouzaJr @DPFreightTrain6 @cowings5 @jonjayU @JakeLamb18 @DanielDescalso @NickAhmed13 @JRMurphy513 @JMathSix @RobbieRay @mattykoch20 @PatrickCorbin46 @BigCountry1739 @silvinobracho @MLB pic.twitter.com/D5rxYN1LD8— Haileys_hand (@haileys_hand) July 21, 2018
Hailey’s journey around the league is showing the world that our individual limitations do not have to define us. Even at 8 years old, even with a 3D printed hand, this remarkable girl is showing she can do amazing things.
Banner/thumbnail image credit: Reuters