Three local kids were fitted Tuesday for prosthetic devices as part of Western New York Stem Hub's Hand in Hand program.

  • Kids fitted for prosthetic devices
  • Hand in Hand students will be using technology to create the devices
  • Kids will be presented with their new prosthetics in October

"This will change the children's lives. We've seen children who could not function with their arm learn how to ride their bike and do cartwheels. And perform beautifully in school because their confidence was boosted," said Michelle Kavanaugh, WNY STEM Hub executive director and president emeritus.

Ava Attfield, 2, of East Aurora is getting a special adaptive cup for her bike and scooter so she can steer them in both directions.

She was also fitted for a prosthetic hand as her arm stops just below her right elbow.

"We are super grateful. She's adapted to everything life's thrown at her. Been able to really see what a light she is in this world and how our differences make us all really special," said Andrea Attfield, East Aurora.

David Burgin of Buffalo also had his daughter Nile fitted for a prosthetic arm.

Burgin says not having to pay any out of pocket expense saves him and other families thousands of dollars.

"I'm extremely grateful. It's very expensive. So, this is a great program. And it's definitely worthwhile," said David Burgin.

Marcella Singletary's 6-year-old son Khani from Rochester was born prematurely and without a right hand.

She says his prosthetic will help him do ordinary tasks like buttoning his shirt and tying his shoes. 

"It's a blessing. Because I didn't know what was going to happen. I thought he would just grow up with no fingers. So for him to be able to get something to help him is a blessing," said Marcella Singletary.

The hands will be crafted from a group of predominately urban students working with 3-D technology making prosthetics for children in need.

"Youth are learning how to be of service to others, how to use technology to change the world around them, and their learning about disability awareness," said Kavanaugh.

To literally help change the world around them, a delegation of WNY STEM Hub students and teachers will be traveling to the West African country of Ghana in January, not only to continue making prosthetic for kids there, but to help leaders set up their own Hands to Hands program for the hundreds of others in need there as well. 

The three kids here will get their devices during a special presentation on October 26 at Roswell Park.