Not every Christmas gift comes wrapped under a tree.  And sometimes the most precious gift is something you need, and always wanted.  That’s exactly what the MORE Foundation delivered to Jacob Taggart, a five-year-old boy born with a hand difference that left him with only a portion of his thumb and first finger on his right hand.

Jacob is just like every other boy his age in every other aspect.  He wants to ride a bike and throw a ball, and he loves “Star Wars.” So the Helping Hands team at the MORE Foundation did their best to combine Jacob’s hopes for a prosthetic hand that would allow him to grasp and throw a ball, with his affinity for Stormtroopers in his favorite movie.

This prosthetic hand that was equal parts functional in design, and movie magic in spirit, was created at the MORE Foundation using a 3D printer.  All of this made possible by donations from The CORE Institute physicians and staff that support the foundation, and allowing the non-profit organization to purchase the 3D printer for the purposes of creating custom prosthetics.

As each part of the new hand required between five to 15 hours to create, it was only the beginning of the process.  The Helping Hands team also assembled it and made custom modifications that included straps and padding that adjusted uniquely to a small boy’s hand.

No small feat of engineering, it was designed with small cables that run within the fingers and across the back of his wrist to simulate the same tendons and muscles in your right hand.  As Jacob flexes his wrist, the small cables within the fingers activate and close the hand so he can grab, hold and lift objects.  And as he grows older, Jacob’s prosthetic hand will continue to undergo modifications for comfort, as well as a new pencil holder that allows him to write and draw.

The Stormtrooper prosthetic hand was donated to Jacob and his family by the MORE Foundation with no charge, and Marc Jacofsky, Executive Director, is quick to share his appreciation for The CORE Institute.

“I really must credit the staff at The CORE Institute for helping us fundraise.  We didn’t have this Helping Hands program at the beginning of 2017,” Jacofsky adds. “Now, our goal is to be able to expand the program and deliver 100 hands.”

Seeing the confident smile of a young boy as he grasps a toy with his new right hand is a tremendous gift.  Knowing that the MORE Foundation will continue to receive and evaluate future cases and opportunities to bestow a helping hand to other children in need is absolutely priceless.

If you would like to donate to Helping Hands, or know a child in need of a prosthetic hand, please contact the MORE Foundation at 623-241-8724 or click here for more info.