Diagnosed with Burkitt’s Leukemia, Elijah Diggins had to put his young pitching career on hold to undergo a succession of chemotherapy. In spite of the side effects, Diggins thought of one thing – how to give back to OSHU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital. His chance came this year as one of seven participants in the Nike Doernbecher Freestyle Program. With the Nike Air Foamposite One, a set of matching Nike Windrunner Jacket and baseball cap as his canvas, Diggins conjured a red/black colorway in the honor of his favorite athlete, LeBron James. Featuring minute personalized details, including a smiley-face emblem derived from his initials and Chinese/Japanese characters for “courage”, Diggins surely hit this one out of the ballpark with its fierce design.
One of seven designs from the 2013 Nike Doernbecher Freestyle Program, the Nike x Doernbecher Freestyle – Air Foamposite One & Windrunner by Elijah Diggins will be available in the coming months, with all sale proceeds to benefit OHSUDoernbecher Children’s Hospital in Portland, Oregon.
Elijah Diggins, 14
Elijah likes to play baseball and says he’s a pretty good pitcher. His baseball team actually won the state championship and his dad is quick to point out all the boards that have been knocked out of their garden shed by his son’s killer throw. Behind his modesty is a tenacious kid with untold reserves of strength who was put to the test last year when he was diagnosed with Burkitt’s Leukemia and underwent a tough course of chemo. When faced with the opportunity to tell his story through the Nike Air Foamposite, Elijah poured his heart into it. His design features his very own smiley-face logo, which turns into his initials when viewed sideways. The fiery red and black palette is a tribute to his favorite athlete, Lebron James. On the tongue, Japanese characters symbolize courage, along with Elijah’s signature. A chain-link graphic on the sockliner is taken straight from his most prized possession—a silver bracelet that was a gift from his parents when he began chemotherapy. For Elijah, his design is a very personal thank-you note to the place that he credits with saving his life. “When I was in the hospital, I kept thinking ‘Doernbecher has done so much for me—how am I going to give back?’”