Eight-year-old Hailey Dawson is on a mission to become the first person to throw out the ceremonial first pitch at all 30 Major League Baseball stadiums in the US. As she travels across the country, she is determined to raise awareness for Poland syndrome, a rare birth defect that caused her to be born without three fingers on her right hand and without a right pectoral muscle. Hailey wears a 3D-printed robotic hand customized for each game thanks to the engineering team at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Her effort is also helping to raise money for UNLV to produce similar 3D hands for other patients. With her final pitch set for the Angels vs. Mariners game in Los Angeles on Sept. 16, Hailey leaves behind a nation of fans – professional athletes included – inspired by her journey.
This demonstrates that no matter how old or young, how large your stature, you can use sport as a vehicle for social change. Hailey realized how she could use sport to raise awareness and has created a movement of fans and players supporting her journey.