Nike has released their annual Doernbecher collection just in time for the holidays. The Doernbecher collection supports a charity effort and meaning as the story behind the collection is a heartfelt, touching one that would make anyone want to contribute to the cost.
According to Nike, it all started with an idea from Connor Doherty, the son of Nike Creative Director and OHSU Doernbecher Foundation board member Michael Doherty. His suggestion was to enable the hospital’s young patients to engage their imaginations by designing their very own Nike sneakers. The program was formalized in 2003 as the OHSU Doernbecher Freestyle program.Since then the program has been running for fourteen years. 85 patients have been designers and $17 million has been raised since the beginning.
The collection features six shoes, changing the silhouettes every year. The release is always highly anticipated and limited. The unique thing about the sneakers is that each one tells a different story depending on which child is designing that particular sneaker. This years designers include Andrew, Amyiah, Brayden, Brody, Carissa and Tylan, includes the Air Jordan 12, Nike Air More Uptempo, Nike Air VaporMax, Nike SB Zoom Stefan Janoski, Nike Air Huarache Run Ultra, and the Nike Air Max Thea Ultra Flyknit.
Below are the stories of each designer and their inspiration, courtesy of Nike.
Tylan Hibbard – Nike SB Zoom Stefan Janoski
Tylan was born with truncus arteriosus, a rare heart defect that is fatal if not corrected. Tylan included his own personal mantra on the tab of the SB Zoom Stefan Janoski: be kind. That’s the theme of his very own YouTube channel, which he created to help other people feel better. Because he thinks every fisherman needs a good fishing shoe, Hibbard also designed his shoe with nautical details. A school of trophy fish swims against a deep blue background.
Brayden Sparkman – Nike Air Huarache Run Ultra
‘Brayden Strong’ is Brayden Sparkman’s nickname, and it is also a description for how he’s choosing to fight acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Sparkman is an avid baseball player who hopes to play professionally one day. His Air Huarache Run is a tribute to the game and features red baseball stitching, his own logo and nickname, which describe his playing style.
Andrew Merydith – Nike Air VaporMax
The VaporMax features vibrant shades of green and purple that coordinate perfectly with his favorite BMX jersey. Andrew used his initials to create a cool logo, and came up with his own hashtag for the outsole: #ilovethefam. According to Doernbecher social worker Emily Somervell, Andrew shares his family’s caring, compassionate traits. “For Andrew, helping others brings him the most happiness,” she said. “That’s why he’s looking forward to becoming a scientist who helps treat and hopefully cure cystic fibrosis.”
Carissa Navarro – Air Jordan 12
Carissa’s Air Jordan XII is perfect for dancing and also a showcase for her favorite things. You’ll find her stuffed dog Max on the outsole, a picture of her family inside, and a slice of pizza on the laces. Of all the things that Carissa loves most, her twin sister Savannah tops the list, and her name appears on the heel tab of the left shoe. Carissa was born without kidneys, but Savannah helped her stay alive in the womb until she could begin dialysis.
Amyiah Robinson – Nike Air Max Thea Ultra Flyknit
Amyiah’s colorful ombre Air Max Thea Ultra Flyknit features her name loud and proud, as well as a logo comprised of a heart with angel wings flying over the words ROCK STAR. Besides being true to herself, Amyiah also believes being true to her roots, which is why the inside of one shoe features a map of her hometown in Oklahoma, while the other contains a map of Oregon. Amyiah moved to Oregon in 2015 to be closer to family and to be treated for sickle cell anemia, which requires monthly transfusions at Doernbecher.
Brody Miller – Nike Air More Uptempo
To help in his fight against complex brain malformation, Brody Miller, an aspiring comic book artist, dreamed up an alter ego, Generator Man, who is featured on his Air More Uptempo. Other super-powered features include a glow-in-the-dark outsole that reveals the words BE STRONG. There’s also a giant BPM down the side, which stands for “beats per minute” as well as his initials, Brody Preston Miller.