Las Vegas girl with 3-D-printed hand to throw first pitch at Wor - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Las Vegas girl with 3-D-printed hand to throw first pitch at World Series

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A Las Vegas girl with a 3-D printed hand is set to throw out the first pitch in a World Series game. (FOX5) A Las Vegas girl with a 3-D printed hand is set to throw out the first pitch in a World Series game. (FOX5)

Hailey Dawson is a seven-year-old with a passion for baseball. Her favorite team is the Baltimore Orioles and two of her favorite players are Las Vegans Bryce Harper and Kris Bryant. 

But a rare condition, Poland Syndrome, kept the spunky little girl from playing her passion. 

"At six to eight weeks of gestation, there's a lack of blood supply," Hailey's mom, Yong, explained. "So she's missing her pectoral muscle on her right side, and that affected the growth of her hand. She was born without her fingers in the center, and she's got a little pinky and a little thumb that has just cartilage."

Poland Syndrome is rare. It only affects one in 20,000 newborns, and Yong said many of Hailey's doctors had never seen it before. 

So Yong reached out to UNLV's College of Engineering for help.

"About three years ago, I emailed them to see if they would build Hailey a hand," Yong remembered. 

"We get a lot of different types of requests, nothing usually this specific," UNLV Mechanical Engineering Professor Brenden O'Toole explained. "I think the first reaction from myself and faculty and students was 'You cant do this, that's impossible!'"

Still, the students, teachers and faculty got to work, and after six months of fittings, models and tests, Haley had a 3-D printed robo-hand. 

"It's a feeling of accomplishment, you know. You get a little bit teary when you see something like that," O'Toole said.

Hailey operates the hand with her wrist and is able to open and close the fingers. Yong said the little girl was a natural.

"She just put it on, started doing stuff, so that was cool," she said. So it wasn't long until the baseball fanatic wanted to test her stuff.

Yong emailed the UNLV baseball team, and for the first time, she threw out a first pitch. 

"I think she got addicted that first time, because the crowd was cheering for her and I think she liked that," Yong said with a laugh. "Within the month, we were driving in the car ... and she goes, 'Mom, can I throw out the pitch for the big Orioles?'"

So, mom sent some emails once again, and last year, Hailey took the mound for her favorite team, the Baltimore Orioles. 

That wasn't her last appearance on the major league mound. This season, she threw out the first pitch for the Washington Nationals, with a little help from fellow Las Vegan, Bryce Harper.

"She asked him, 'Can I throw out a pitch for the Nationals?'" Yong recalled. "He said 'I think I have some pull, let me see what I can do.'"

Shortly after the pitch at Nationals' park, Hailey's new goal to throw out the first pitch at every MLB ballpark got national attention. 

"It's been a little crazy," Yong said.

The 28 MLB ballparks tweeted out invitations for Hailey to throw the first pitch at their stadiums. The Kansas City Royals tweeted, "We'd love to make that happen." The Diamondbacks wrote "Happy to help Hailey out!"

But all those teams will have to wait, because baseball's biggest stage came calling.

"We got a call from Major League Baseball; the executive vice president wanted to hear our story," Yong said. "Then he said 'We want to invite your whole family to a World Series game.' Fantastic! Dream come true right? and then he goes, 'And we want Hailey to throw out the first pitch,' and I started crying."

Hailey is set to throwing out the first pitch in game four of the fall classic, but the family said it's more than a once-in-a-lifetime experience. It's also a chance for Hailey to spread awareness and teach people about her rare condition. 

"She was born this way for a reason," Yong said. 

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