The annual Doernbecher Freestyle Project between Nike and Oregon Health & Science University Doernbecher Children's Hospital is in its ninth year now, allowing children battling serious illness to select and design their own Nike shoes: they pick the colors, materials and details for each silhouette to reflect their individual stories and personalities. For this go-round, the sneaker styles include a Dunk Hi SB, women's Nike Free Run+ 2 DB, Air Force 1 DB, women's Air Max 90 DB, Free Run + 2 DB and Air Jordan 9 Retro DB. The collection is scheduled to launch through Nike retail locations nationwide and online starting November 30th, with all proceeds from sales of the shoes going to OHSU Doernbecher. The program has raised more than $4 million to date. Continue reading for a close-up look at the shoes, accompanied by an introduction to the talented designer behind each pair.
Release Date: November 30th, 2012 (Friday)
Doernbecher Nike Dunk Hi SB
Finnigan Mooney (10) was born with Hypoplastic left heart syndrome. He's toughed out more than 13 heart surgeries during his life, but his positive attitude and infectious sense of humor have remained unscathed. In addition to making new friends, he loves playing basketball, jumping on his trampoline, and perfecting his killer golf game. Finnigan's design is representative of his sunny personality and smile, with an in-your-face yellow upper emblazoned with "THUMP THUMP" to pay homage to his unstoppable heart. The Nike swoosh is affixed with medical stitches to symbolize the stitches from his surgeries. His actual thumbprint appears on the outsole of the shoeâ€”a nod to how Finnigan would always give his parents a thumbs-up when he came out of surgery. And paying tribute to his Irish heritage, Finnigan also included a shamrock on the tongue.
Women's Nike Free Run+ 2 DB
Kylie Bell (16)is recovering from a brain tumor. It may have kept this young dancer off the floor for a while, but not for long. Her passion for performance found her back in action a mere two weeks after surgery. Kylie's design includes lace panels that are exactly like the lace on one of Kylie's favorite shirts. She chose a bird, representing freedom, to be featured on the tongue. The shoelaces and the inside of the shoe also feature the word "freedom" as well as "strength." Kylie's signature graces the sockliner and her favorite color, berry, makes the shoe worthy of center stage.
Nike Air Force I DB
Last January, Chad Berg (15) took a spill in his kayak and spent 90 minutes in the icy water. By the time he was rescued, he was in full cardiac arrest with no pulse and an internal temperature of 73 degrees. Essentially, he was lifeless. After nearly three hours of CPR, the medical team transferred Chad to Doernbecher and put him on a machine that could do the work for his heart and lungs while he recovered. Incredibly, he was back in action within two weeks with no neurological damage at all. Chad's Air Force 1 design features green accents to pay tribute to his favorite collegiate team (the UO Ducks), carbon fiber panels, a glow-in-the-dark outsole, and his favorite saying on the sockliner: "The people who turn out the best are those people who make the best out of the way things turn out."
Women's Air Max 90 DB
Autumn Boynton (10) was diagnosed with kidney cancer in the spring of 2005, with bi-lateral Wilms' tumors in her kidneys and abdomen. When the cancer spread too much to save her kidneys, Autumn underwent emergency surgery to remove both of them. After 3.5 years of regular dialysis, her dad was able to give her a kidney, exactly four years to the date she was first diagnosed. Autumn's design features black and pink--her favorite colors. Autumn wants to be a rock star when she grows up, so she made sure the shoe's upper design was covered with stars and peace signs. The finishing touches are sparkles on the Swoosh and bubbles on the shoelaces to match her personality.
Men's Nike Free Run+ 2 DB
When Grant Olsen (11) was six years old, his mom and dad found a lump in his neck that turned out to be acute lymphoblastic leukemia. These days Grant is feeling much better and is back to playing sports and practicing his electric guitar. Grant's design includes his personal logo on the tongue that features a lizard (one of his favorite animals), an electric guitar, his initials and the words "Do not fear or be dismayed." Grant has earned straight A's in school for as long as he can remember, and his favorite vacation spot is Hawaii. So his Nike design advisor asked a friend, who happened to be vacationing in Hawaii, to take a photo of an A+ written in the sand on a beach, which appears on the sock liner. Grant's love of outer space is also highlighted on his shoe with the glow-in-the-dark space speckles. Grant's inspiration for the colors of his shoe come from a photo of an exotic bird he saw in a design book.