LOUDONVILLE, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Siena students used a 3D printer to create a prosthetic arm for a 9-year-old girl themed after her favorite movie.
When the Disney blockbuster “Frozen” hit theaters, merchandise flew off the shelves. But a little girl in Stillwater didn’t want a backpack or a shirt. She wanted an arm.
Karissa Mitchell was born without a right hand, but on Wednesday she got the next best thing – a “Frozen”-themed prosthetic. When the Siena College students who created it fastened it on, Karissa, summed it up in just one word: “Awesome.”
The new arm will take some getting used to, but Karissa is not giving up.
“It feels like I have a real hand,” she said.
Receiving the arm was a moment her parents, Maria and Michael Mitchell, have been waiting for. Her ear-to-ear smile made the yearlong effort worth it.
“For her to be excited about it is just an amazing feeling,” Siena senior Alyx Gleason said.
Gleason is part of the group called Enabling the Future. It’s a worldwide network of volunteers who use 3D printing to give a helping hand free of charge.
“They are helping kids who otherwise might not get something like this,” Maria said. “It’s heartwarming to know that college kids are doing this.”
Karissa’s parents beamed at their daughter when she received her new arm. But Karissa knows it’s okay to be different.
“Because it would be a lot boring if everybody was like everybody,” she said.
Be yourself – that’s the message you’ll find in Karissa’s favorite movie, “Frozen.”
“Just because you may be a little different you can do what you want to do as long as you just have a goal and do it,” Maria said. “She’s going to be something.”
The prosthetic arm included about 30 pieces and took about 30 hours to print. The students said they’ll continue working with Karissa and her family and will be making her a new one whenever she needs it.