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Notre Dame students build artificial hands for South Bend girl

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — A group of University of Notre Dame students have built a pair of artificial hands for a South Bend girl.

Notre Dame’s student run e-NABLE group spent over a year looking for a child in need of an artificial hand. A chance encounter in an Uber led them to the Anderson family.

Michael Skinner, a senior engineering student, found himself in an UBER driven by South Bend native Doug Anderson. The two men got to talking and Skinner learned that Anderson’s daughter Tori, was born with half a palm and only one finger on each hand.

“I kind of got the gears rolling in my head because I work with a group called e-NABLE and we build prosthetic hands for little kids,” Skinner said.

Tori's father, a retired school teacher, says his 11-year-old daughter struggles with tasks like writing and using her bike with hand brakes.

The group spent two months working on the hands, taking measurements of Tori’s hands and using 3D printing technology to produce them.

“I hope they open doors for her. I hope when she sees somethings she thinks how do I do this for myself as a form of independence,” Skinner said.

Skinner said that Notre Dame students Cole Grabowski, president of e-NABLE and Mia Hoffman, head of e-NABLE research and development, were integral to the project. The team is led by Richard Strebinger, associate professional specialist in the Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering.

Skinner, along with the Anderson family, were featured on Tuesday’s episode of Steve Harvey’s daytime talk show, “Steve.”

Photo courtesy of Matt Cashmore/ University of Notre Dame

Photo courtesy of Matt Cashmore/ University of Notre Dame

Photo courtesy of Matt Cashmore/ University of Notre Dame

Photo courtesy of Matt Cashmore/ University of Notre Dame

Photo courtesy of Matt Cashmore/ University of Notre Dame

Photo courtesy of Matt Cashmore/ University of Notre Dame

Photo courtesy of Matt Cashmore/ University of Notre Dame


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