Doernbecher Freestyle is an extraordinary partnership between Nike and OHSU Doernbecher Children’s hospital in which young patients make their mark designing limited-edition Nike footwear and, for the first time, apparel pieces to help support the hospital that changed their lives.
Media are invited to a “pre-unveiling” of the highly sought-after Doernbecher Freestyle X footwear and apparel collection where they will be the first to:
- Get photos and video of the OHSU Doernbecher patient-designers and their families as they view their completed limited-edition shoes and apparel for the first time.
- Find out what inspired the patient-designers’ unique shoe and apparel designs and hear how the Doernbecher Freestyle program has impacted their lives.
- Learn how funds raised through the Doernbecher Freestyle program impact patient care on a daily basis from OHSU Doernbecher’s head of pediatric neurosurgery.
Saturday, Sept. 28. The media preview begins at 5 p.m.; the public Doernbecher Freestyle program and unveiling beings at 7 p.m.
The Mark Building, 1219 S.W. Park Ave., Portland
Through Doernbecher Freestyle, now in its 10th year, young patients who have endured cancer, neurosurgery, cystic fibrosis, hemophilia, rare genetic disorders, kidney transplant and more experience the joy of helping other kids going through similar experiences by designing limited-edition Nike footwear and apparel pieces to help support the children's hospital that changed their lives.
Through their designs the patient-designers express powerful personal messages about their lives, their medical journey and their hopes for the future — sometimes serious and sometimes whimsical.
Doernbecher Freestyle was launched in 2003 when Michael Doherty, Nike Inc.’s creative director of global brand presentations and a longtime board member of the Doernbecher Children’s Hospital Foundation, was intrigued by an idea pitched by his son to have Nike create custom shoes honoring Doernbecher patients.
Since its inception, the Doernbecher Freestyle program has engaged 58 young patient-designers, deeply involving their families and engaging thousands of Nike and OHSU Doernbecher employees and associates who become emotionally involved in the effort to create amazing shoes and unforgettable experiences for OHSU Doernbecher patients.
Each year physicians and staff at OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital nominate six young patient-designers. In the spring the kids travel to the Nike campus in Beaverton, Ore., where they meet their design mentors, brainstorm ideas and begin sketching their designs. Samples of shoes and apparel are rushed to Portland in the fall for an annual unveiling event/fundraiser before they are made available at retail outlets and online.
The Doernbecher Freestyle Collection X shoes will be sold at www.nikestore.com and at Nike retail locations across the country beginning Saturday, Nov. 9.All proceeds from the sale of Doernbecher Freestyle shoes and apparel benefit health care and research programs at OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital. To date, Doernbecher Freestyle has raised $6 million to 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.