Age: 7, 9
Helping Hand: BB8 – Star Wars
Rumi and her family traveled from Apache Junction for the gift of her first Helping Hand in 2018. This energetic 7 year old wanted to learn to swim but felt she would never be able to learn with just one hand. MORE Foundation created a custom designed swim fin prosthetic that looked like a mermaid’s tail for Rumi. With the help of a swim instructor at Ability360, Rumi used her swim fin to overcome her fears and really took to the water. Rumi’s inspiring Helping Hands story was featured on TLC’s “This is Life Live” including a live on-air reveal . This featured story covered how the MORE Foundation’s 3D printing technology, was able to customize a Helping Hand just for her, fulfilling her desires- both in functionality and in design. Of course, we also gifted her a grasping hand to complement her swim fin – a multi-colored pastel design of her own creation.
Battling through being mistreated by classmates from a young age was rough on Rumi, and it was difficult for her mother and twin sister to watch. However, with her new prosthetic device she had something unique made for her and met many people who supported her in overturning the stigma associated with children with limb differences.
In March of 2020, Rumi had outgrown her original grasping hand and received her second Helping Hand, a new design based on BB8 from Star Wars, with its orange, white and silver theme. She was using the hand to pick up tennis balls and play, just minutes after trying it on for the first time.
Rumi’s helping hand is an elbow powered prosthetic, which means that with the bend of her elbow, Rumi can control the fingers of the hand.
Rumi’s mom Caryn recently reported “Rumi now dives, body surfs, board surfs, laps, and carries on in water for hours.” “Rumi has a newfound confidence. Our summer was really changed by our experience with More Foundation’s Mermaid Swim Fin!”
After 2 years of working with Rumi and her family, we are thankful that we get to see her and her twin sister, Halo, grow. It is special to see them light up when playing with one another in our lab and telling us all about their favorite activities and funny stories