When Anthony was two, he got brain cancer. Unforunately, the surgery needed to save his life also made him blind.
After lots of chemotherapy and therapy, the little survivor – now age 4 – is on the mend and learning how to do things on his own.
There was just one problem. His therapist found him a spoon that could help him feed himself, but she only had one of them.
So Anthony’s mom, Cierra Brettnacher wrote a message on Facebook asking for help. She soon got this reply:
“As a Marine, we don’t leave anyone behind,” explained Wayne Whitworth. “I’ve never met Anthony but he is a remarkable little boy. I decided to post the picture on my Facebook page and ask my friends how I could get this spoon. I probably got 1,500 responses from people all over the U.S. and as far as Australia who were looking for this spoon. The response I received was tremendous.”
When Whitworth’s own search ended up not yielding any results, however, he decided to measure the one spoon that did exist and help create one for little Anthony.
That led him to the idea of 3D printing and more volunteers willing to help, including a UPS store owner Debbie Adams and her designer, Doug Seelbach.
After a series of challenges, Wayne, Doug and Debbie finally found a design that worked and created a curved handle to fit a fork and a spoon.
“Debbie’s designer, Doug, did a really great job creating the file,” explained Whitworth. “And Debbie is a remarkable lady. She never gave up. She does not quit. I had tears in my eyes when I picked up the spoon. I tried to pay her and her designer that day but they refused to take my money. I asked for the designer’s address to send him a check and he wouldn’t even give it to me. I wish I could do something to repay them.”
Now the little Anthony is learning how to eat with his new handles created with 3D printing and the generous spirit of strangers who just wanted to help a kid in need.
Photo Credit: 3DPrint.com