2014 marks the 11th year that Nike and the Oregon Health & Science University Doernbecher Children’s Hospital have come together to release a collection of sneakers (and apparel) that are entirely designed and inspired by patients. The program is aimed at empowering the patients, as well as raising money and awareness to help expand pioneering research, support clinical care, purchase state-of-the-art equipment, recruit new experts and help cover the cost of care for families most in need. The success of the program has been exceptional, with nearly $8 million raised over the past 10 years.
This year, six young patient-designers worked closely with Nike to design six brand new collections that are a reflection of their inspirations and aspirations. Chase Crouch, Tim Haarmann, Caden Lampert, Melissa (Missy) Miller, Alejandro Muñoz, and Addie Peterson each courageously fought (and fight) their illnesses, and now they tell their stories through the Doernbecher collections.
Within the sneaker world, rarity is quite often a catalyst for jealousy and misplaced anger. Look at the Instagram account of a collector who posts a picture of a rare pair of kicks, and you’ll see that almost immediately another user declares it a fake (not even a global figure like Drake is immune). Indeed, when pictures of the Caden Lampert inspired Jordan 8’s surfaced several weeks ago, comments ranged from approving to flat out inappropriate. While the collectibility of these sneakers is undeniable, their true value lies not in their 'resellability', but rather in their ability to act as a platform for both increasing awareness about childhood illness, and celebrating the strength and resilience of Chase, Tim, Caden, Missy, Alejandro and Addie. These six, when faced with tremendous adversity knew no other way than to fight back, and given the opportunity, they were willing to put their lives and stories in the public eye to try and help others just like them.
Check out all of the collections below (these will release on Sunday, November 23rd at select Nike retail locations as well as on Nike.com), and we hope that you will take the time to read Chase, Tim, Caden, Missy, Alejandro and Addie’s inspiring stories here, as well as read about the tremendous work that the OHSU Doernbecher Children's Hospital is doing.