8-year-old's first pitches raising awareness for rare disorder

- A young girl is using her love of baseball to raise awareness about her rare disorder. 

Hailey Dawson was born with Poland syndrome, a condition that affected the development of her right hand. Researchers gave her a special robotic, 3-D printed hand, which she's used to throw the first pitch at 15 MLB games now.

She'll be throwing out the first pitch at the Tigers game on Monday, June 25. She's on journey to throw out the first pitch at every MLB field in the country. 

"Back in 2015, she asked to throw out a pitch to the Orioles. She did that; did the Nationals. Then Major League Baseball called and she did the World Series last year in October, and now she's doing the 2017s this year," her mom, Yong Dawson, explains. 

Yong says she loves watching her 8-year-old daughter pitch, but she also loves that it's making others aware of the technology and others are getting these hands now, too, because of her.

Her hand was developed at UNLV’s Howard R. Hughes College of Engineering by students and faculty. They've multiple 3D-printed hands which have enabled Hailey to grab, grasp, and, of course, even throw a baseball. 

Poland syndrome is when a person is born with missing or underdeveloped muscles on one side of the body, resulting in abnormalities that can affect the chest, shoulder, arm, and hand. Poland syndrome has been estimated to occur in 1 in 20,000 newborns. 

Hailey will have a busy summer throwing out first pitches. They'll finish up their journey on September 16, when Hailey will throw out her 30th pitch. 

You can learn more about Hailey's hand and her journey online here

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