Local cheerleader takes to the field with new bionic arm

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- A Houston-area girl celebrated her new bionic arm Saturday by taking to the field and cheering during the University of Houston game.

Julianna Linton, 11, and her family were decked out in University of Central Florida colors. It was their way of showing gratitude for the state-of-the-art arm created by Limbitless Solutions and UCF.

"They took us in and made us part of their family, so we are instant fans. We're part of UCF now," Julianna's mother, Kathleen Linton, said.

Julianna was born with most of her left arm missing due to a congenital condition, Linton said.

The family saw an ABC News story featuring Robert Downey Jr., who portrays Ironman in Marvel Studios films. He partnered with Limbitless Solutions to present a 3-D printed bionic arm to another patient. The Lintons knew that's just what Julianna needed.

"A lot of prosthetic arms try to make it look like it's real. [Limbitless doesn't] apologize for the fact it's not a real arm. They just make it really cool," Linton said.

The arm is lightweight and durable, filled with advanced electronics. It's able to move and grasp in response to signals from Julianna's brain while she's wearing it.

The Lintons heard the UCF football team was playing at the University of Houston, so they decided to stop by.

"We are all from Texas, so this is a new thing for us," Linton said.

Julianna even joined the Knights cheerleaders on the field.

"Even though they're from Houston, we have some new members to our Knights family," UCF cheerleader Mia Saragusa said.

Julianna also met UCF player Shaquem Griffin, who is missing his left hand due to the same condition.

"He is a big inspiration to her," Linton said. "He can be a college football player so why can't she be a college cheerleader too?"
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