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“Nemo” to the rescue for girl born with limb deficiency

Lily Larimer is just a kid. She loves Nemo (of Finding Nemo). She’s 8 years old. But she’s already experienced some of the bad things that life can offer: things like people staring at her or treating her differently than they’d treat any other 8-year old girl.

That’s because she was born with a limb deficiency of her right hand. In this instance, that means that Lily was born without full fingers on her right hand. Effectively, she can’t grip with that hand.

So how do you think she felt when she first encountered Nemo, of Finding Nemo fame?

Right! She found a character that she deeply relates to. The way she tells it, Nemo has a lucky fin on the same side that she does.

It started with Facebook

When her parents found out that their daughter had this unique connection to Nemo, they used their Facebook page to ask friends and family to send them as many Nemo-related toys as they could.

The request did not go unanswered; now, Lily has more than 70 Nemo toys.

But that’s not the full story. Lily’s connection to the world of animated characters doesn’t end with the graciousness of her parent’s Facebook community.

She’s also been given something pretty unique: a 3D printed prosthetic hand. It was made by three students from the University of South Carolina Greenville School of Medicine.

Lily’s ‘robot hand’

Lily’s “robot hand,” as she calls it, resembles the Infinity Gauntlet of Marvel comics fame. When she’s wearing the 3D-printed prosthetic hand, she can grip things by moving her wrist.

This type of medical device can run into the tens of thousands of dollars, and if someone is fitted as a child, it’s likely they’ll need new ones as they grow.

And that’s where the e-Nable organization comes in. Through their local chapters, like Hands Up Greenville, they provide 3D-printed alternatives to kids across the globe who otherwise wouldn’t be able to have a prosthetic.