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Medical Edge: Batter Up Project

Updated: Wednesday, April 30 2014, 05:08 PM EDT
CINCINNATI (Liz Bonis) -- Something new is now a big hit at the Joe Nuxhall Miracle League field.

It's been in the works for awhile and is part of what's called the "Batter Up Project."  There is something about baseball that is just contagious: the crack of a bat, the thrill of a home run and the roar of the crowd.  And sometimes it's just easy when you see that to sort of catch the spirit.  Especially when you are a kid.  What kid doesn't want to play baseball? And it seems even more special to play baseball when you can't hit the ball.

That was the case for kids such as Karlee until the Batter Up Project.  The Batter Up Project allows those who are in wheelchairs to independently swing a bat by themselves.  The Batter Up Project has been in development for months thanks to a group of volunteer engineers from an organization called "May We Help.

Terry McManus tells Local 12, "May We Help is an organization that helps invent or adapts devices for people with disabilities."
 
The Batter Up Project is now available to help kids play baseball at the Joe Nuxhall Miracle League field.  Joe's son, Kim, says it's part of his dad's legacy.

"He had a big place in his heart for helping kids and especially kids with special needs," Kim Nuxhall said.

May We Help got some help taking the Batter Up Project to the next level from aviation engineers at GE.

"The bat cocks back by itself and then the ballplayer can just push a button and the bat swings and then they are moved off to first base," one engineer tells Local 12.
 
Now, as Kim and his wife Bonnie watch these kids play, they say words can't even express the gratitude they feel.

"That's one of the hardest things is finding something bigger than beyond thank you," said Kim.

Kim says if Joe Nuxhall is watching Miracle Field through those holes in the floor of heaven, he knows he's happy.

"Dad was very emotional and I could see tears running down his face, as kids step up push a button to the automatic bat, and watching it hit with smiles on their faces playing ball." 

Smiles, he says, that are part of the thrill of the game no matter where it's played or how you hit the ball.




'May We Help' is funded only on donations.  They also take applications for those who need special devices.  For more information CLICK HERE.

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