Doernbecher Freestyle, the unique partnership between Nike and Oregon Health and Sciences University (OHSU) Doernbecher Children’s Hospital, is back for its 18th annual installment.
Since 2004, over 100 OHSU Doernbecher patients have had the opportunity to create inspiring Nike footwear, apparel, and equipment designs that are auctioned and sold to benefit the hospital as a signature fundraiser. This program has raised nearly $31 million for the hospital since its inception.
Following up last year’s collection is a new collection designed by six OHSU Doernbecher patients, each bringing their vision and story to life through their unique product designs. Sneaker silhouettes featured in this year’s collection include the Air Foamposite One, Air Huarache, Air Max 90, Zoom Vomero 5, Air Presto, and Air Jordan 1 Low.
The 18th annual Doernbecher Freestyle collection is being showcased tonight at an auction event at the Portland Art Museum. After going virtual the last three years, the auction is back in-person, with attendees having the opportunity to bid on the Freestyle products with all donations supporting the OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital. Those who wish to participate in the silent auction but are not attending the event can purchase an access ticket here. The silent auction is open now through Saturday, October 29th at 12pm PT.
The Nike Doernbecher Freestyle XVIII collection will be available for public purchase on SNKRS, Nike.com, the Nike app, and at select retailers in early 2023. Scroll down below to learn more about each patient-designer and their creations.
Hometown: Chiloquin, Oregon
Diagnosis: Kidney transplant
Favorite sport: Basketball
Perfect day: Playing outside with family
When I grow up: I want to be a veterinarian
Shoe: Nike Air Foamposite One
Apparel/Equipment: Pants, Backpack
As a proud member of the Klamath Tribes, Coley Miller found plenty of design inspiration within her culture. Her retro hoop shoe features a basket weave graphic that incorporates a quail plume and the Klamath mountains. The night sky graphics are inspired by stargazing with her mother, who donated one of her kidneys to Coley. As for the phrase “ho mas gi” on the outsole, that’s a reminder to Just Do It in Coley’s Klamath language.
Dario Villaseñor Valdivia
Hometown: Vancouver, Washington
Diagnosis: Juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia
Secret talent: Voice impressions, singing and jokes
When I grow up: I want to be an animator
Perfect day: Eating Chinese food and seeing the people I love
Shoe: Nike Air Huarache
Apparel/Equipment: Pants, Long-Sleeve Tee
When Dario received a bone marrow transplant seven years ago to treat his leukemia, his body attacked the donor cells, leaving his lungs severely damaged. But throughout it all, this good-natured guy has remained Siempre Fuerte (Always Strong). Dario’s shoe is a nod to some of his favorite things in life: oranges, his long-haired plush toy and creating stick animation for his YouTube channel.
Hometown: Sherwood, Oregon
Diagnosis: Inflammatory bowel disease
Heroes: My parents
Secret talent: I’m a good dancer
Favorite school subject: Math – I’m good at doing it in my head
Shoe: Nike Air Max 90
Apparel/Equipment: Hoodie, Hat
Emerson Harrell is a witty, energetic teen who loves playing video games, watching sports and collecting sneakers (ten pairs and counting!). Now Emerson can add another pair to his prized collection—his own Air Max 90s. They are inspired by his dream of becoming an investor and feature money graphics on the Swoosh. The phrase Bear Down is a shout-out to Emerson’s beloved Arizona Wildcats, as well as a rally cry for all of life’s challenges.
Hometown: Springfield, Oregon
Diagnosis: Cleft palate
Favorite athletes: My brother and sisters
When I grow up: I want to be an engineer, artist, designer – and maybe a doctor
Fun fact: I like to sing and grow plants
Shoe: Nike Zoom Vomero 5
Apparel/Equipment: Hoodie, Backpack
You heard it here first: the future will be assembled by Jaren Heacock. Equal parts energy and ideas, he loves creating, coding and building robots. Jaren’s shoe captures his inventive spirit with interchangeable patches and honors his Chinese heritage with dragon-inspired design cues. Look inside the shoe, and you’ll find what matters most to Jaren—the names of his siblings.
Hometown: Ridgefield, Washington
Diagnosis: Hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) survivor
Favorite color: Pink, then the rest of the rainbow
Secret talent: Making friends
Perfect day: See my family and go on an adventure
Shoe: Nike Air Presto
Apparel/Equipment: Hoodie, Hat
Get ready to walk on sunshine because Kylee “Cookie” Young’s colorful shoe is all about happy vibes. A childhood infection left Kylee paralyzed and unable to speak, but this never-give-up girl knows exactly how to get her message across. Her Nike Air Presto features all the things that bring her joy, like springtime, flowers and especially cookies.
Hometown: Portland, Oregon
Diagnosis: Cystic fibrosis
Favorite athlete: Serena Williams
When I grow up: I want to be a doctor
Prized possession: A pair of earrings from my late grandmother
Shoe: Air Jordan 1 Low
Apparel/Equipment: Sweatshirt, Hat
Riddhi Mahajan is a bright, articulate teen who radiates positivity wherever she goes—and she designed her Air Jordan 1 Lows to do the same. The phrase Brand New Day is a reminder that there’s always something to look forward to, while the ombre laces represent a sunrise. Riddhi’s eternally positive mindset has already helped her tackle some big goals, like earning a black belt in Tae Kwon Do.