Sep 17, 2018 | By Thomas

Hailey Dawson, a young girl with a 3D printed prosthetic arm threw out the first pitch at Angels Stadium on Sunday. She completed what her family is calling her Journey to 30, and with that, she became the first person to throw out the first pitch at all 30 Major League ballparks.

Image Credit: UNLV

Dawson, a seven-year-old from Las Vegas, was born with a rare congenital disease called Poland Syndrome, which caused her to only have two fingers on her right hand. Despite her disability, the ambitious youngster has persevered and has pursued her passion for baseball fearlessly.

The 3D printed prosthetic was designed by a team of engineers from the University of Nevada Las Vegas. The prosthetic device consists of 3D printed parts which are assembled using fishing wire. When worn, the device can close the prosthetic fingers into a fist with only a flick of the wrist. With another wrist movement, the fingers will release.

“Watching Hailey, she’s just a little girl doing her thing and having fun – proves to anyone that there are no excuses; anything really is possible,” said Maria Gerardi, mechanical engineering graduate student from UNLV’s Howard R. Hughes College of Engineering who has been working on Hailey’s hands since almost the beginning. “It’s a great feeling to know my four years of hard work have led here. I’m so humbled.”

In 2015, Hailey was given the opportunity to try her 3D printed prosthetic hand at a Baltimore Orioles’ baseball game, where she was invited to give the first pitch. Pitches for the Baltimore Orioles and Washington Nationals followed.

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Family photo courtesy of @yankees photographer.

A post shared by Hailey Dawson (@haileys_hand) on

Last fall, the Bleacher Report picked up Hailey's story and tweeted out a short video spotlighting her goal of throwing out the first pitch at all 30 Major League ballparks.

Hailey’s dedication and passion for baseball caught the attention of some major league teams, and she has been invited by over 28 other MLB teams to throw the first pitch at games. Last year, Hailey was even invited to throw out the first pitch at Game 4 of the World Series at Minute Maid Park.

The Dawson family spent spring and summer traveling around the United States. United offered to cover the cost of her flights.

“It took this community of people to help a then five-year-old build her confidence and self-esteem to where she is now at eight,” said Yong Dawson, Hailey's mother. “It took this community to help Hailey inspire other kids and adults. UNLV did this for her. Major League Baseball did this for her. All 30 teams, the players, and staff did this for her. Her family and friends did this for her. Hailey’s confidence and positive spirit will continue to grow and the possibilities are endless for this kid born with Poland Syndrome.“

On September 16th, Hailey completed her "Journey to 30" when she threw out the first pitch at the Los Angeles Angels vs the Seattle Mariners game at Angels Stadium.

Hailey and her family are now raising money for UNLV to create and donate hands similar to hers.

“I want people to know, if I can do it, you can do it,” Hailey said.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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