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Inventive Teacher Gives Disabled Student ‘Control’

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MIAMI (CBS4) — Sixteen-year-old Danny Lamarca is a student at Holmes Braddock Senior High School in Miami and like most teenage boys he loves playing video games and he’s good at it too.

“I got fourth place and two weeks later I got first,” said Danny. But video games weren’t always a slam dunk for Danny.

“I have a skin condition called Epidermolysis Bullosa and I was born with it,” said Danny.

It’s a hereditary condition which makes Danny’s skin sensitive and blister easily. It also affected the size of his hands making him unable to play the games he loves.

That’s where his art teacher David Kotkin comes in. Danny confided to David how he longed to be able to use the X-Box his parents bought him.

“I just said, Hey ya know I’m working on something that I think can help you,” said Kotkin.

David, a closet inventor, went to work. With Scotch tape, Popsicle sticks, super glue and strings, Kotkin created a new controller for Danny which made all the difference.

“The strings help me reach the controls and triggers better,” said Danny.

Kotkin named the controller The Avenger. It encases a standard X-Box controller and makes it possible to do more moves faster.

Kotkin has sold over 8,000 Avengers since its debut in January. Many gamers say it gives them more control and less finger fatigue when they play. He anticipates sales will continue to climb and says all the success has stemmed from an act of love.

“It comes from a place of love it really does a good place it wasn’t made in a studio,” explained Kotkin.

For information on how you can get your hands on an Avenger, go to www.avengercontroller.com.

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