CNN

Mark Hamill called an 11-year-old ‘Star Wars’ fan with an R2-D2 bionic arm a hero

Mar 3, 2020, 9:55 PM

star wars bionic arm...

Isabella Tadlock received her new bionic arm on February 18, 2020. Mark Hamill, who played Luke Skywalker in the "Star Wars" movie series, sent Isabella passes to Disney World. Photo credit: Chris Edwards-Pritchard/Open Bionics

(CNN) — It was Isabella Tadlock’s dream to be able to bend her fingers and pick things up. But she was born with a disability that made that challenging.

So when the 11-year-old “Star Wars” fan asked for an R2-D2 bionic arm, she thought it was going to be the best gift ever. Then came the call from someone familiar.

Mark Hamill, who played Luke Skywalker in the movie series, had a video call with Isabella when he found out her new arm had been delivered. She showed him her new R2-D2 arm and after the two had a 30-minute conversation, he sent her passes to Disney World.

“He could not have been more encouraging and kind,” Isabella’s mother, Pamela Tadlock, told CNN.

star wars bionic arm

Isabella fist-bumps her sister after getting the bionic arm. She also showed her arm to Mark Hamill, who played Luke Skywalker in the “Star Wars” movie. Photo credit: Chris Edwards-Pritchard/Open Bionics

Isabella was born with what her family describes as a nub on the end of her left arm and without fingers on her right hand. After multiple surgeries, she now has three fingers and a thumb on her right hand.

The Tallahassee, Florida, girl’s family started fundraising for the Star Wars bionic arm after Isabella saw a video of a little boy with a similar device last summer.

Thanks to her supporters, she raised almost $14,000 — with Hamill’s help along the way. He retweeted her donation link to his 3.6 million followers in November after Isabella’s nanny sent the link to him, saying how big of a fan she was.

Three months after that, on February 20, they met.

“I heard you’re a ‘Star Wars’ fan. But I have to tell you, I’m a big fan of yours. I’m so proud of you,” Hamill said in the video. “They call it a hero arm because you really are a hero.”

Life with the hero arm

The makers of the “hero arm,” Open Bionics, created it for that exact reason. They wanted to give children with limb differences an empowering arm. “Welcome to the future, where disabilities are superpowers,” the company says on its website. They’re made to pick up signals from muscles in the residual limb.

When it came time for Isabella to choose what kind she wanted, she asked for one that resembled R2-D2, Luke Skywalker’s droid in the movies.

It’s been only two weeks since she got the new Star Wars bionic arm, but Isabella says these have been the best days of her life.

“I am so excited. I will be able to ride my bike, swing on the monkey bars, create in the kitchen and be like my friends,” Isabella said in an update on her Mightycause account.

“It’s helping tremendously with her self-esteem and confidence,” Tadlock said. “Just last night for the first time she was able to blow dry her hair by herself.”

The strong-willed “Star Wars” fan has faced several obstacles in her young life, but her family has been there every step of the way. And her six siblings have treated her no differently, Tadlock said.

And now she has a new dream: to be a bionic arm model.

The-CNN-Wire
™ & © 2020 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

CNN

Former President Donald Trump walks on stage during the 2024 NRB International Christian Media Conv...

Fredreka Schouten, CNN

Wisconsin ethics panel recommends criminal prosecution for a Trump fundraising committee

A Wisconsin ethics panel is recommending that prosecutors pursue charges against one of Donald Trump’s fundraising arms.

1 day ago

Police are investigating the scene at the University of Georgia in Athens where a nursing student w...

Rebekah Riess, Caroll Alvarado, Holly Yan and Jamiel Lynch, CNN

Suspect in death of Augusta University student found on UGA campus taken into custody

Campus police arrested a suspect in the killing of an Augusta University student on the University of Georgia campus in Athens.

1 day ago

United Airlines aircrafts are parked at Newark Liberty International Airport in Newark, New Jersey,...

Ross Levitt, Pete Muntean and Samantha Delouya, CNN

United to resume non-stop service from US to Israel

United Airlines said it will resume flights from the United States to Israel beginning in March.

3 days ago

Nasser hospital in the city of Khan Younis, Gaza, on December 22, 2020....

Kareem Khadder and Zeena Saifi, CNN

‘We are completely besieged’: One of last doctors left in Gaza’s Nasser hospital says patients’ fate no longer in his control

One of the doctors remaining in Gaza's Nasser hospital has described a “catastrophic” situation a week into the Israeli forces’ siege.

3 days ago

Members of the Palestinian civil defense extinguish a fire in a building in the east of Rafah, the ...

Richard Roth and Tara John, CNN

US proposes a ‘temporary ceasefire’ in Gaza in draft UN resolution

The United States has proposed a United Nations Security Council resolution calling for a temporary ceasefire in Israel’s war against Hamas

5 days ago

Exercise particularly reduced risk of death for women, according to the data....

Madeline Holcombe, CNN

Women might lower their risk for cardiovascular disease by twice the amount as men with exercise

The benefits of exercise are great for everyone – but may be even better for women, according to a new study.

5 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Mother and cute toddler child in a little fancy wooden cottage, reading a book, drinking tea and en...

Visit Bear Lake

How to find the best winter lodging in Bear Lake, Utah

Winter lodging in Bear Lake can be more limited than in the summer, but with some careful planning you can easily book your next winter trip.

Happy family in winter clothing at the ski resort, winter time, watching at mountains in front of t...

Visit Bear Lake

Ski more for less: Affordable ski resorts near Bear Lake, Utah

Plan your perfect ski getaway in Bear Lake this winter, with pristine slopes, affordable tickets, and breathtaking scenery.

front of the Butch Cassidy museum with a man in a cowboy hat standing in the doorway...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking Back: The History of Bear Lake

The history of Bear Lake is full of fascinating stories. At over 250,000 years old, the lake has seen generations of people visit its shores.

silhouette of a family looking over a lake with a bird in the top corner flying...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

8 Fun Activities To Do in Bear Lake Without Getting in the Water

Bear Lake offers plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy without having to get in the water. Catch 8 of our favorite activities.

Wellsville Mountains in the spring with a pond in the foreground...

Wasatch Property Management

Advantages of Renting Over Owning a Home

Renting allows you to enjoy luxury amenities and low maintenance without the long-term commitment and responsibilities of owning a home.

Clouds over a red rock vista in Hurricane, Utah...

Wasatch Property Management

Why Southern Utah is a Retirement Paradise

Retirement in southern Utah offers plenty of cultural and recreational opportunities. Find out all that this region has to offer.

Mark Hamill called an 11-year-old ‘Star Wars’ fan with an R2-D2 bionic arm a hero