Durham Tech students 3D print new hand for South Carolina teen

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Friday, December 8, 2017
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A South Carolina teen gets a new prosthetic hand thanks to Durham Tech students.

DURHAM, North Carolina (WTVD) -- Students at Durham Tech are giving Kaitlyn Kirkendoll a hand - literally.

The 16-year-old girl and her family drove up from South Carolina so the students could present her the gift of a new hand to fit her growing arm.

Kirkendoll has no left hand because she was simply born without one.

"Going to school, when I was little, was kind of difficult because kids ... when you're little, you don't really understand what it's like to have one hand," she said, "so it's different to see somebody like, missing a hand."

Her mother has always encouraged her.

"I didn't want Kait to ever, ever be ashamed of who she was, and how she was born," her mother, Torie Kirkendoll, said, "and so we always raised her that so, you know, God made you this way, just go out there and be the best you can be, and own it."

Being able to "own it," is why the students of Durham Tech's Helping Hand Project 3D printed the parts and made the hand - to better equip her to do things like grasping a steering wheel.

"You want it to be part of who you are," said Hannah Brown, president of the Helping Hand Project at Durham Tech.

"It's an expression of yourself, so as Kait has gotten older, and become more adult, we wanted the hand that symbolize that," Brown added.