Louisa County student with rare disorder gets life-changing gift

LOUISA COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Jayden Schoening, a third grader at Thomas Jefferson Elementary School in Louisa County, is still getting used to his new set of 3D printed hands.

7e5bfaf669764135b25b234181296349Jayden was born with Moebius Syndrome, which is a rare neurological disorder, leaving him without hands or feet. His teachers, however, say that’s never held him back from anything.

“He can do anything anybody else can do,” explained Jayden’s former teacher, Marcy Pannella. “He can climb monkey bars, he writes beautifully; probably had the best handwriting in my class. He always has a smile on his face and he just wants to come to school to learn.”

“He can do anything anybody else can do. He can climb monkey bars, he writes beautifully … He always has a smile on his face and he just wants to come to school to learn.”

And to think: He was doing all of that without prosthetics. Jayden was recently given a new pair of hands by Peter Binkley, a volunteer designer from Blacksburg, who works with E-Nable. Jayden seems to be adjusting to them well.

He explained to 8News Reporter Candice Cole how his new hands work: “They work from wrist power because, like, you move your hand up and down and they just go up and down with your hand.”


Aside from having a cool new pair of hands to show off, Jayden’s current teacher calls him an inspiration.

b3294fc29f934c9a9c25a0514b0adc5b“He’s just inspiring,” Jayden’s third-grade teacher, Jessie Stringer, said. “My students know that they can’t say the word ‘can’t’ in my room. Some of us have to try a little bit harder and do things a little bit different, and Jayden’s just an example of that every day. There’s nothing he can’t do.”

Jayden still has some practicing to do with his new hands. He says when he grows up, he wants to enlist in the Army, but for now, he wants to get a 3-D printer for his school.

“I want to do that because I want to help other people with hands like me,”he explained.

Now, he’s hoping to hold a fundraiser so that his school can purchase that 3D printer.

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