CLEVELAND, Ohio -- The Cleveland Indians are preparing to welcome a very special guest this Memorial Day weekend.
An 8-year-old little girl will throw out the ceremonial first pitch Saturday night despite being born without fingers and underdeveloped muscles.
Hailey Dawson, who lives in Las Vegas with her family, was born with a rare genetic birth defect called Poland Syndrome, but also an intense love of baseball.
Her parents were initially looking for a way to help Hailey have a functioning hand when they contacted the University of Las Vegas Nevada College of Engineering, but it’s turned into much more.
Mechanical engineers at the college developed and fine-tuned a fully operational hand using 3D printing technology.
“We like the idea of community-based design where we’re using our research and resources to help someone,” said Brendan O’Toole, UNLV mechanical engineering professor who is working on the project.
The 3D-printed hand works so well, Hailey not only can throw a baseball, but decided she wants to do it in all 30 MLB ballparks.
The family hopes it will raise awareness about Poland Syndrome and also show people “cost effective” solutions for children.
UNLV prints a new hand for each game with the teams colors and logos.
She’s already thrown out the first pitch during the 2017 World Series for the Houston Astros and also the Padres, Orioles and Washington Nationals.
Cleveland is number 8 on the list.
“We’re absolutely thrilled to participate,” said Court Berry-Tripp, Cleveland Indians director of communications and player relations. “We’re excited to see the Block C in action.”
And Hailey is thrilled to be heading to Cleveland.
FOX 8 News reporter Suzanne Stratford spoke with her mother, Yong Dawson, from the plane as they prepared to depart.
“She loves it,” said Dawson. “She does not get nervous one bit.”
Yong says Hailey also doesn’t believe in adversity and she hopes her journey will inspire others.
“She tells her friends that if I can do it you can do it,” said Dawson.
The game Saturday against the Houston Astros starts at 7:15 p.m.
Next, Hailey is headed to Colorado.