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Local girl receives prosthetic arm from Siena

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LOUDONVILLE - Siena Students will present a Frozen-Themed Prosthetic Arm to a 9 year-old Stillwater girl Wednesday evening.

Karissa Mitchell a third grader at Stillwater Elementary School Wednesday will then head to Siena College where she is set to receive the perfect gift to start her summer vacation.

A group of eight Siena students, led by senior physics majors Alyx Gleason and Miranda Marnes, have been working on a prosthetic arm for Karissa since January.

Siena's e-NABLE chapter was formed last February as part of the Enabling the Future community.

This is not the first time the group has used 3D printer technology to help provide a prosthetic to children. An Iron Man-themed prosthetic hand that they delivered to five-year-old Jack Carder in Ohio last April.

The e-NABLE Community is made up of individuals and teams from all over the world who are using their 3D printers to create free 3D printed hands and arms for those in need of an upper limb assistive device.

Karissa was born missing her right hand and wrist and at six weeks old was diagnosed with a heart condition known as Atrial Septal Defect.

Karissa's mother Maria saw the story about Jack's hand on the news and reached out to Siena's e-NABLE to see if they might be able to help her daughter as well.

"Seeing the look of joy on her face when she was able to pick up an orange using a model of the 3D printed arm was indescribable," Maria Mitchell said. While function came first, the Siena e-NABLE team also incorporated fashion and flair into the design of the arm, modeling it after Karissa's favorite movie - Frozen.

"Karissa really identifies with Elsa because she knows what it's like to be different from everyone else," Maria Mitchell said. "She does not want to be seen as different, which has made her extremely determined to do things as well, if not better, than others."

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The operation will take place at 6 pm on Wednesday the 22nd at the SAInT Center at Siena.

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