Limbitless Solutions, an organisation founded by UCF students in 2014 that is devoted to provide kids with customised 3D printed bionic arms, this time surprised 10-year-old cheerleader Julianna from Texas.
Julianna had lost her left arm above the elbow due to a congenital amputation caused by amniotic band syndrome and is the 15th child to receive a 3D printed bionic arm from Limbitless.
“We want children to know, especially girls, that there are no limits,” said Albert Manero, founder of the group and an aerospace engineering student pursuing his Ph.D. at the university. “We want them to dream big and then go after it. That’s really important. You can be smart, beautiful and strong and do it all here at UCF.”
UCF’s cheerleading team delivered the arm when meeting her and her family on campus. Mascot Knightro presented her with a box containing the new arm along with two pom-poms. Following the first practice with her new arm, Julianna joined the UCF cheerleading team for some stunts and even performed a handstand an cartwheels using the 3D printed prosthetic.
“If there are 10,000 things someone with two arms can do, Julianna can already do 9,900,” said her father Clark Linton. “We’ve always focused on what she can do, not what she can’t. I think this new arm will give her the opportunity to do even more. The technology is advancing so rapidly, Julianna has a chance to grow with the technology that may help her later on in life and won’t limit her career opportunities.”
One of the first bionic arms was a 3D printed Iron Man themed prothesis that was delivered to Alex by Tony Stark aka Iron Man himself. The volunteer student group has since received requests from over 500 families.
“As a nonprofit we rely on the community to be able to continue our work,” Manero said. “There is such a big need. We had no idea when we started what kind of need exists. We want to help as many children as possible so they can grow up and know there are no limits.”