A Hand for Ricky – Part 1 of 3


Yvonne is a grandmother who joined the e-NABLE community this spring. Marla is a volunteer on the e-NABLE Matching Team.  We worked on this interview together through email.


Yvonne: I initially found the group through a post from Robohand. Ricky is in an early intervention group at school. His teacher there saw the news article about the dad who made a hand for his son using a 3d printer and $10 worth of materials.  Ever since that day, I was on a mission to try to find someone with a 3d printer to tryto print one for me and even thought about buying a used 3d printer out of income tax money and watching the youtube video to teach myself. I said to my husband, “if I learn how to do this, we can print hands for any kids who would need them.” Little did I know a group that did just that already exsisted.

Marla: Do you know what caused Ricky’s upper limb difference?

YvonneRicky was born with Poland Syndrome.  It’s basically that in the womb he laid on his left side too much and too long that it restricted the blood flow to the left side of his body and this caused the underdevelopment of the left side of his body.

Marla: How did you find out about the e-NABLE community?

Yvonne: I watched the news video and the “dad” mentioned Robohand. I found them on Facebook and liked their page. I corresponded with them, but the cost was out of my price range at the time and they don’t take insurance. So one day on Facebook, Robohand posted about the group E-Nable. I went to that page, sent an email and within a short time received a response directing me to the google+ community along with instructions on how to join and how to post about receiving a hand.

Marla: So when did you join?

Yvonne: I joined the group on March 26th and posted that I was “seeking a device”, I was welcomed to the group, matched with a volunteer and in touch with that volunteer on March 26th. So the initial process was very fast.

Marla: Someone is printing a hand for you now?

Yvonne: Luke Brane is our “volunteer” and he has been great. He ran into a few issues, one with his printer not working correctly and someone else in our area offered to print anything Luke needed and send it to him. He was able to fix the printing issue and has been working on Ricky’s hand. Ricky’s hands are tiny, so Luke ran into another issue with the normal pieces used to hold the hand together not fitting properly. However any issues that Luke has run into, he’s been sure to let me know and he’s kept me updated throughout the process. He will send me an email or send me pictures as he moves along. I spoke with Luke last on Thursday, May 1st and he is hopeful that the hand will be completed shortly. He had expected to be done last week but ran into the issue of not being able to use the normal pieces. The pictures we last posted, Luke had made an initial hand for Ricky, but then he needed to make it smaller.

If you are interested in having a hand created, need parts printed or would like guidance in learning how to create these for someone in your area or a family member  or if you would like to help create hands or offer to print parts for children or adults – please email us at enablematcher@gmail.com or join our Google+ Group!

If you do not have a 3d printer but would like to contribute your expertise in the areas of design and creation of files or you have other skills that you could offer – we would love to have you join us!