Girl gets 3-D printed arm to help play violin - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Girl gets 3-D printed arm to help play violin

Isabella Cabrera, 10, has a new prosthetic to help her learn the violin. (Source: WJLA via CNN) Isabella Cabrera, 10, has a new prosthetic to help her learn the violin. (Source: WJLA via CNN)

FAIRFAX, VA (WJLA/CNN) - Isabella Cabrera was born without a left hand and only a partial bone from her elbow to the wrist, but that's to modern technology, she can play the violin with that arm.

She's been waiting for a long time, and a new 3-D printed prosthetic, called "Isabella's Attachment" and the "vi-arm," has allowed her to hold the bow and begin learning to play the instrument.

"I think it's going to help me by having more control of the strings and the notes," Cabrera said. "(I am) very happy and very blessed that I have this amazing group of people that have helped me."

Cabrera, 10, is a fifth-grader at Island Creek Elementary in Fairfax County, VA and playing the violin has always been a dream of hers.

The process of making the attachment started last fall and was brought to reality by five bioengineering students at George Mason University.

After hundreds of hours of design and testing, the product came out perfectly.

"I cannot describe what we feel in terms of improving someone's life, making an immediately impact on someone's life," Yassar al-Hindi, one of the students, said.

And the aesthetics were an important part of the process as well.

"The best part was painting it pink and making it all pretty," one project participant said.

In the past, Cabrera has used a different, more crude prosthetic to help her play. Now, she hopes to other people will take note and use it as motivation.

"My mom's phrase is when you say I can't do it, it is 'I can't do it yet,'" Cabrera said. "Which means if you're playing the violin and it's hard for you, you can't say 'can't' because you need more practice with it, and you can't do it yet. It's very inspiring to me, and I'm sure to other people."

Copyright 2017 WJLA via CNN. All rights reserved.

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