I am so thrilled to watch the rapid growth of 3D printing for prosthetics. There is an ongoing community called e-NABLE on Google+ and Facebook that is connecting engineers with 3D printers with children and adults with hand differences. That combination is making it possible for more and more people to get the opportunity to try using prosthetic fingers created with the help of a 3D printer. (If you want to learn more details behind the e-NABLE group, read an older blog post I wrote on the organization.)

The Rochester Institute of Technology plans to take that production to a new level. During its yearly Imagine RIT event, engineers plan to demonstrate and prototype an e-NABLE Service Station. Adults and children are invited to visit Rochester, New York to experience how the service station works during the event. My mind is a bit blown with this awesome idea. I can’t wait to see what comes of it. The idea is when a person with a hand difference walks up to the service station, he or she can get measured and arrange to have a custom hand designed.

It’s an awesome opportunity to pitch in on an effort to make it even easier for people with hand differences to get access to 3D printed hands. If you live close by and are interested in attending, all you need to do is RSVP to the Facebook event. Or you can email the founder of e-NABLE, John Schull.

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Being different and overcoming obstacles sometimes brings out the very best in us. I tell Jordan and Cameron that often when we face tough stuff in life. We can choose to let it make us sad, or we can find the good in the bad and keep living a positive life. I know those words may be tough to believe at times. But that’s how I take each day. And then others prove it for me.

Let’s take Amy Purdy.

Amy Purdy shows how positive thinking and hard work can go a long way.

Photo courtesy Adaptive Action Sports

I learned about Amy because she’s the co-founder of Adaptive Action Sports. She’s a rock star snowboarder who earned a bronze during the Winter Paralympics in Sochi earlier this year. Right after she won that medal, she headed back to the states to compete in the ABC show, Dancing with the Stars. Oh, did I mention she lost the lower portion of both of her legs and her kidney function when she contracted bacterial meningitis as a 19-year-old?

She fought back from that illness and found ways to return to life… Not only just living but finding positive opportunities after some really terrible struggles. It is truly inspirational to see how one person found ways to take her life’s passions and is giving back to the world by finding some very public arenas to prove life’s challenges can’t stop anyone from trying their best.

She proved that point during this week’s Dancing with the Stars. (The contemporary dance she did in honor of her dad made me bawl.) She broke me when the video shared before her performance showed just how difficult it was to dance the waltz.

More and more people are noticing. ABC’s Nightline did a really wonderful interview with Amy this week. Her positive focus shines through when she talks about losing her lower legs.

“I’ve never looked at myself as if I’ve lost anything,” Purdy said. “If anything, I’ve gained.”

She gained a chance to work with amazing athletes, dancers and if you follow her Facebook pageInstagram and Twitter, these opportunities are giving her a chance to meet some really remarkable people. Her dancing and snowboarding prove the power of positive thinking and very hard work can make a difference.

Purdy mentioned in the Nightline piece, “If I can accomplish grace on these legs, then I’m already a winner.”

I really think she has not only won, but she’s help bring even more open eyes to limb differences and showing the only thing that is impossible is impossibility. (Yes, it’s a quote from Phineas and Ferb… We say it all the time in our house.) Not all amputees can find this level of success. But it is possible to maintain a positive focus and do our very best.

By the way, if you’re impressed by Amy, consider donating to Adaptive Action Sports. It is an awesome organization that helps people with physical disabilities the chance to join in on skateboarding, snowboarding and other action sports you’ve probably seen in the X-Games.

[Also, if you missed it, Hugh Herr showed off the future of bionics and helped a victim of the Boston Bombings ballroom dance for the first time. The video is pretty remarkable and made me think how Amy could have benefitted from the technology.]

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Showing it Off on the Dance Floor

April 16, 2014

I mentioned earlier this week how proud I am at the risks Jordan takes on a regular basis. One activity that’s been a constant since Jordan was two and a half years old is dance. I tend to just consider is an assumed activity until I step back and watch her. That’s exactly what I [...]

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Two Hands Are Not For Everyone

April 15, 2014

My journey with prosthetics started with I was five months old.  My parents knew that I was going to need to learn how to crawl, and realized early on that I would need a prosthetic limb in order to do so without major difficulty. They took me to Shiners Hospital in Chicago and had me [...]

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Trying to Make Teeth Brushing Fun

April 14, 2014

This paid post is brought to you by the new free Oral-B Disney Timer App as part of a Type-A Parent Community Sponsored Post. Tooth brushing has never been so important in our household. Jordan has more and more grown up teeth and Cameron has braces. It’s so important to make sure the kids brush [...]

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Taking Risks All the Time – Top Five Favorites

April 14, 2014

Over the past week, Jordan returned to softball practice and it made me think back to a bunch of different times when Jordan has surprised me by taking risks with her activities. Why not share my top five favorite risk taking moments so far in Jordan’s life? Here you go. Number 1: Rock climbing Jordan [...]

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Finding Community When It Is Everywhere

April 11, 2014

I’ve mentioned a few times before how I founded Born Just Right because I didn’t have many resources when Jordan was born. All I had was my doctor using the term “amniotic band syndrome” and sent me on my way after we left the hospital. We knew Jordan’s joints were loose (they still are) and [...]

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Music Continues to Rock

April 10, 2014

Jordan is now into her second semester of piano. It is so cool to watch her figure this out. Her teacher has been so cool about helping Jordan learn how to read music for the right and left hand. She has found a consistent collection of beginner music that only needs one note at a [...]

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BEARS Fun For All and Tickets for St. Louis

April 9, 2014

There are two things you will easily find our family doing when we are crashed out on the couch together – We’re either watching a Disney movie or a nature show on TV. It’s super cool when those two things merge… Like with the new movie, Bears. Disneynature releases the movie on Earth Day, April [...]

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That Time of the Year

April 8, 2014

It’s that time of the year when all of Jordan and Cameron’s activities collide. Jordan has dance, physical therapy, piano, softball and all kinds of birthday parties scattered throughout this month. Each activity has a reason: Dance is something Jordan loves and it helps her work on her core strength, physical therapy is another important [...]

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A St. Louis Running Adventure

April 7, 2014

Jordan is lucky enough to go to a school with a committed running club. We meet before school on Tuesdays and Thursdays. This year, Jordan signed up for two big challenges: To participate in three 5K races during the school year and run enough miles to match a full marathon. So far, Jordan has participated [...]

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You can do anything you want, as long as you want it badly enough!

April 4, 2014

I’d love to introduce everyone to Sarah Johnson. She is new to writing for Born Just Right and I’m thrilled to have her join us with her one-handed perspective! ——– Running across this blog happened by chance. I was browsing the Nubability Athletics website searching for a way to get involved. That’s how I found [...]

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A One-Handed Pep Talk

April 4, 2014

In the last month, Jordan has spoken twice about her limb difference to kids and adults. It’s pretty impressive. A few weeks ago, Cameron’s basketball coach asked me if Jordan would be willing to talk about living with a limb difference and how it doesn’t hold her back. He hoped she could help motivate the [...]

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Limb Loss Awareness Month is also for Limb Differences

April 3, 2014
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This is the fourth year the Amputee Coalition has hosted Limb Loss Awareness Month in April. To me, this month’s theme has always felt a little detached from my feelings about limb differences since Jordan was born with a limb difference not a “loss” since Jordan never lost a thing. So I dug a little [...]

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The Sweetest Moment Ever at Walt Disney World

April 2, 2014
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We are still riding the post-Disney high that happens each time we visit the parks. But this time around, something very special happened. We didn’t ask for it and I think that’s what made it extra magical. Here’s the story. Do you remember the movie, Up? The little boy in the movie is a Wilderness [...]

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