Nike custom shoes have become a popular way to express one’s self. The popular sportswear company has teamed up with Oregon’s OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital in what has become an annual fundraising effort. For 2015, six young patients were chosen to create their own sneaker designs with stories of their young lives and fights with diseases for custom limited-edition shoes and apparel.
On October 23, the Nike custom shoes designs were unveiled by Nike and OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital, as reported by the Oregonian. The designs are known as the Nike Doernbecher Freestyle Collection, and the endeavor is now in the 12th year of its fundraising efforts. According to a Nike statement, the exciting 2015 collection was launched for sale on November 21.
The items designed are all very unique and feature each child’s story of battling unfortunate sickness, with colorful inspiration showcasing joys and sorrows as well as hope and determination. Each of the six patients was given the opportunity to express their feelings in an artistic way. Joyfully, the children saw their custom shoe designs come to life to be sold as the limited edition Nike Doernbecher Freestyle Collection of shoes, hats, and clothing.
The Nike custom shoes and apparel for 2015 celebrates each of the six young lives by telling their stories in colorful wearable art. The young designers include 11-year-old Lizzy Olivan, 11-year-old John Charles, 11-year-old Kian Safholm, 10-year-old Emory Maughan, 14-year-old Jacob Burris, and the youngest, 8-year-old Isaiah Neumayer-Grubb. The girls and boys showcase their artistry and style, along with their hopes and dreams, through their one-of-a-kind designs.
Diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia a year ago, Lizzy has been fighting the disease with her dream of becoming a professional dancer. She designed her custom Nike Free 5.0 TR Fit 5 shoe to showcase her lust for stardom, her tap dancing, and skipping rope talent. In addition, Lizzy’s own motto, “Stay strong. Dance on,” is displayed on the purple with bright blue and black, with understated sparkle, designed garments. Lizzy’s name is showcased, and the Nike logo on her shoe is in a sparkly tone and features the word “dance.” She even has her own dance figure logo stitched on the heel of the sneaker.
Nike custom shoes and fashion created by John reflects his love of sports, his mom, his twin brother, and his dog. Suffering from Crohn’s disease, John has learned how to swallow seven pills at once and made sure to incorporate that feat into his unique design on the Air Jordan XIII Retro shoe. In addition, John worked his soccer number into his design. Inside the teal tufted and black shoe with pink sole, the sockliner features John’s German shepherd, his dream travel spot of the Egyptian pyramid, and his twin brother, Jonah. In his efforts to rid the world of Crohn’s, John featured the word Crohn’s on the shoes outsole along with his statement words of courage, strength, and fight surrounding the midsole.
“When I’m walking, I want to literally stomp out the disease with every step,” John explained regarding the decision to write the name of his illness on the bottom of the shoe.
Kian designed his Nike custom shoes to celebrate his comeback after a staph infection took over his body and heart, leading to three surgeries. His black LeBron XIII with a cool ombre from orange to blue colorful graphic design reflect his favorite basketball player, King James, and his heart of a lion. Thoughts of LeBron inspired Kian to fight his illness with courage. The ombre colors chosen by Kian appear as a sunrise on the lion roaming savanna. Kian created a family crest with the statement “Forever grateful” featured on the sock liner. Along with LeBron’s signature is also a special lion logo.
Nike custom shoes designed by Emory reflect her belief that if she stays positive and patient, she will eventually have a working kidney. The young girl has been fighting her Stage IV kidney failure with her amazing smile and positive thoughts. Emory designed her Air Max 90 Premium with a fun image of Sasquatch riding a unicorn to showcase her whimsical nature. With creativity, Emory took the word “Impossible” and changed it to read “I’m Possible” in her design. In the sockliner, she placed everything meaningful to her with family member names, palm trees, and Peter Pan.
“When I was a little girl, I always dreamed of being able to fly just like Peter Pan. Now, I dream of having a kidney that works.” Emory explained. “I just have to stay positive and wait for that day to come. If you dream hard enough, anything is possible.”
Jacob’s Nike custom shoes are meant to reflect his fight to raise awareness for heart health as he fights coarctation, a rare heart condition. On the Air Max 95 Premium sneaker’s tongue is a reminder message, “Check your BP,” along with a heart created by Jacob’s thumbprint. In the sockliner is printed Jacob’s message, “I walk to my own beat.” Jacob chose red and blue colors to represent Spider-Man, his favorite superhero. Meeting Spider-Man’s creator, Stan Lee, at a convention, Jacob asked the famed Lee if he would share his name for a good cause. With Lee giving his blessing, Jacob showcases Stan Lee’s signature as part of his design.
On his Nike custom shoes, Little Isaiah features his superhero, Batman. He designed his Nike Zoom Stefan Janoski sneakers in a black silhouette that, when lit, features a cool bat signal emblem on the shoe’s side. On the midsole is Isaiah’s name along with his words of power, “Fighter, freedom and believe.”
Each of the six young patient designers worked with a Nike designer and other employees in order to see their exciting art come to life on the sportswear giant’s gear. The joint effort of the sneaker company and hospital has raised over $11 million over the past decade. The funds raised have helped Doernbecher Children’s Hospital to expand its research and care, as well as pay for vital high-tech equipment. The money raised also helps to finance care costs for families in need. Miracles and happiness can hopefully come together in creating cures with young imaginative minds creating Nike custom shoes.
[Image via Nike News]