Tuesday, November 19, 2019

In the Good Things Happen to Good People Category . . .

Today I'm thrilled to share a wonderful story about an impressive young lady from Western Washington.  

With the help of some dedicated wizards aka University of Washington Bothell mechanical engineering students, she has been provided added opportunities as she moves forward in her life. 

I haven't ever met this young lady.  

I hope to some day.

  I do, however, know many of her family members, including her mom who was one of my English students in the same graduating class as my son Willie. Kristi Holt Armstrong graduated from Sandpoint High School in 1995.  

Also, if you follow this blog regularly, you'll remember some posts featuring her family members who have created the Pumpkin Patch, etc. at Hickey Farms east of Sandpoint. 

Kristi's mom and dad, Jim and Jackie Holt, have been my friends for at least 60 years.  I recently interviewed her brother Dean, who appears in the latest Sandpoint Magazine as a "native" in the "Natives and Newcomers" feature. 

So, considering that the young lady featured in the video below comes from a "salt of the earth" family, it's no surprise that she displays poise, maturity, a sweet nature and an impressive sense of appreciation. 

Thanks so much to Kristi Holt Armstrong for providing me a short summary of information about her daughter as an introduction to the video below. 

Also, let me add another thank you to the students who used their knowledge and skills and persevered to provide Reese with truly a gift of her lifetime. 

May Reese's story provide a uplifting start to your day and as yet another reminder that our country is filled with good people whose inspiring stories deserve to be told.


From Kristi Holt Armstrong:   

Reese is 11 years old and in middle school (sixth grade) Sister: Macy is 7 years old in first grade. Reese's dad Brian works in Stewardship at the University of Washington main campus. 

 I work for a Washington State non profit as a director. I’m a social worker.  We live in SE Everett Washington, north of Seattle and have for the last four years.   

Reese was born with all five fingers but two, without growth plates, needed to be removed for her hand to grow and become more functional. 

 Her first surgery was at 13 months old. She has had 3 surgeries total. The last one was in June of this year when they deepened her thumb space to increase her grasp and functionality. 

 We contacted the University of Washington-Bothell in the summer of 2016 and were connected with the mechanical engineering students in 2017. 

Reese has had her new hand since the end of July. She doesn’t wear it daily but likes to try it out while doing things like riding her bike and climbing at the playground. 

She loves to tell people that she has “a robotic hand.” Reese plays basketball and volleyball, loves animals and drawing. 

 Michael Meier and Adham Baioumy were amazing to work with. They used their knowledge and skills to work through obstacles and never gave up. 

Michael even gave Reese a second incredible gift (the first being her new hand) of her very own 3D printer and the instructions so she can print a new one as she grows. 

She (and I) were speechless at such a gift. 

 Reese wants everyone to know “how thankful we are for the hand and the printer”

Additional reading on this topic:  


Finally, on another subject near and dear to us.  From Twitter:   

Don’t miss the opening game to the girls basketball season at home tonight vs. Saint Maries. Varsity plays at 7, and JV at 5:30.

No comments: