Students create new hand for suburban 8-year-old

GLENVIEW, Ill. — A suburban second grader received an incredible gift from his elders in 7th and 8th grade: A unique hand made especially for him.

With the help of a 3D printer and a determined teacher, students at Attea Middle School were able to make something very special for 8-year-old Dustin Celander.

"Awesome, just awesome it was like eating ice cream," he said.

"When you hear something that's transformative in how you're going to teach, you grab it, Helene Davitz, an instructional technology facilitator at Attea Middle School, said.

Back in September, Mrs. Davitz got an email from 7th grader Kaylee Calito, who saw a video about making hands and wanted to give it a try. The school already had the technology, so they got to work.

"I want to cry because I'm just so happy that this happened" Kaylee Calito said.

Even though they live nearby, Dustin's family connected with the school through the global network Enabling the Future.

Dustin was born with a rare condition where he has a thumb and no digits on one of his hands.

"It takes a few days I think to print them and then the first step is the fingers the worst part is all the filing and stringing," student Jordan Raizer said.

He's still getting used to it, but the 3D-printed hand has already changed a lot for Dustin.

"It's been giving me like more power to pick up things," Dustin said.

"He can contact objects with his palm and his thumb and the artificial fingers ...allows him to grip things," Dustin's father Dan Celander said. "It's like a dream come true."