Doernbecher Freestyle was created in 2004 when Doernbecher Foundation board member Michael Doherty invited one of Nike's shoe designers to take a tour of the hospital. It was designer Marcus Tayui's vision to see patients design shoes with the proceeds benefiting the hospital that in many cases has saved their lives.
Part of the program involves a launch party held in September where more than 300 business and community leaders come together to see the shoes, bid on a limited pair and meet the patients/designers in person.
Now in its fifth year, this extraordinary program has raised nearly $2 million for the hospital, which uses the funds for everything from clinical programs and hospital construction to providing care for uninsured children. This year's patient designers come from Doernbecher's cancer, neurosurgery, cardiac surgery and nephrology programs.
The 2008 Freestyle collection includes five new shoes designed by Doernbecher patients and one style created by famed Nike designer Mark Smith to mark the program's fifth anniversary. This year's line contains several surefire collectors' items, including a rare Air Jordan Retro 1 already creating a buzz among the nation's sneaker collectors. This year's kid-designed shoes also include two different Air Force 1 designs, a Free Mary Jane style for women, and an Air Zoom Vomero+3 running shoe. Smith's anniversary shoe, a white Air Max, features the Dolly Doernbecher logo on the tongue tag, Nike's swoosh and laces in its signature orange, and multicolored outsoles. All six sneakers will be available at Niketowns nationwide and on nikestore.com starting November 14th, 2008.
Check below for more on each...
Tony Taylor, 16, from Portland, Ore. is a super-fan, sneakerhead, wise guy who recenlty underwent a kidney transplant. His ultra-collectible Air Jordan Retro 1 with a tropical twist was auctioned off for $12,500 and all proceeds were donated to Doernbecher Children's Hospital.
Emily Giersch, 17, from Oregon City, Ore. is a born performer, elephant lover and a dreamer who recently underwent neurosurgery. Her Nike Free Mary Jane slip-ons, inspired by the surf, sun and sand of Hawaii, was auctioned off for $7000 and all proceeds were donated to Doernbecher Children's Hospital.
Staci Wright, 16, from Eugene, Ore. is a shopaholic, globe-trotter and a guardian angel who also suffered from Cancer. Staci's two pairs of Splashy Air Zoom Vomero+ 3, loaded with colorful symbols of Staci's triumph over disease, were auctioned off at $20,000 a pair and all proceeds were donated to Doernbecher Children's Hospital.
Colin Couch, 18, from Oregon City, Ore. is a chef, actor, artist and a raconteur who suffers from a heart condition. His white Air Force 1 with lasered-on doodle patterns and the artist's signature bow tie was auctioned off for $8000 and all proceeds were donated to Doernbecher Children's Hospital.
Brandi Berger, 15, fro Albany, Ore. is a basketball fan, farm girl, exercise addict and suffers from Diabetes. Here Air Force 1 was auctioned off for $8000 and all proceeds were donated to Doernbecher Children's Hospital.
The Doernbecher Freestyle's anniversary shoe was designed by Mark Smith. Now in its fifth year, Freestyle has raised nearly $2 million for Doernbecher Children's Hospital to date.