Oregon Health & Science University Doernbecher Children’s Hospital has a unique partnership with Nike that gives hospital patients the opportunity to make their mark designing one-of-a-kind, covetable Nike footwear and apparel for the Doernbecher Freestyle collection. The program was developed to help support the hospital that changed their lives.
Each year, OHSU Doernbecher physicians, nurses and staff nominate patients from around Oregon and Southwest Washington to design limited-edition footwear and apparel that reflect their individual personality and unique medical journey.
This year’s patient-designers are:
- Chase Crouch, 7, Wilsonville, Ore.
- Tim Haarmann, 15, Tigard, Ore.
- Caden Lampert, 9, West Linn, Ore.
- Melissa Miller, 13, Turner, Ore.
- Alejandro Munoz, 8, Medford, Ore.
- Addie Peterson, 14, Clackamas, Ore.
In the spring, the designers travel to Nike headquarters near Beaverton, Ore., where they meet their world-class design and development mentors, brainstorm ideas and begin sketching their designs for the collection shoes and apparel. The kids use their designs to express powerful personal messages — sometimes serious, sometimes whimsical — about their lives, their experiences and their hope for the future.
Each fall, samples of their designs are rushed to Portland for an annual unveiling event-fundraiser before they are made available online and at retail locations nationwide.
“Through this program, kids who have overcome tremendous medical challenges get to experience the joy of helping other kids going through similar experiences and be treated like celebrities during the process. We are exceedingly proud of all they have accomplished and forever grateful to Nike for continuing to provide this amazing opportunity,” said H. Stacy Nicholson, M.D., M.P.H., physician-in-chief, OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital; and professor and chair, Department of Pediatrics, OHSU School of Medicine.
Since its inception in 2003, the Doernbecher Freestyle program has engaged 65 OHSU Doernbecher patients, deeply involving their families and engaging thousands of Nike employees who become emotionally involved in the effort to create amazing shoes and apparel, and once-in-a-lifetime experiences for the kids, all while raising money to support OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital and advancing the cause of children’s health.
The Doernbecher Freestyle program was conceived by Michael Doherty, Nike Inc.’s creative director of global brand presentations and a longtime board member of the Doernbecher Children’s Hospital Foundation, when his son suggested Nike create custom shoes to honor OHSU Doernbecher patients.
Now in its 11th year, the program has become a successful and highly anticipated annual opportunity for a group of OHSU Doernbecher patients. The nearly $8 million raised to date has helped expand pioneering research, support clinical care, purchase state-of-the-art equipment, recruit new experts and help cover the cost of care for families in need.
2014 Doernbecher Freestyle Patient-Designer Profiles
Chase Crouch, 7, Wilsonville, Ore.
Diagnosis: Brain tumor
What do you want to be when you grow up? A neurosurgeon
Hero: Dr. Selden because he saved my life!
Perfect day: My birthday because you get presents and cake and spend time with friends and family.
“Chase is a charismatic, articulate kid whose enthusiasm and spontaneity are infectious. He had a potentially dangerous brain tumor that we were able to successfully remove, likely giving him a lifelong cure. His story is a very touching and impactful one for our entire Doernbecher team.” -- Nathan Selden, M.D., Ph.D., professor and head, Division of Pediatric Neurosurgery, OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital.
Tim Haarmann, 15, Tigard, Ore.
Diagnosis: Acute myeloid leukemia
What do you want to be when you grow up? An infectious disease doctor (virologist/epidemiologist)
Hero: Both of my grandfathers
Perfect day: Skiing from open to close with nice snow, clear conditions and no lines with all of my friends, and pizza for dinner.
“Tim is an engaging, athletic-minded and gracious young 'man.' He’s very thoughtful about others and quite articulate. He's the kind of kid that likes to be involved with activities that will inevitably help others.” -- Susan Sherwood, M.A., C.C.L.S., child life specialist, Child Life Program, OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital.
Caden Lampert, 9, West Linn, Ore.
Diagnosis: Guillain Barre syndrome
What do you want to be when you grow up? A NASCAR driver
Hero: My brother, Ryland
Perfect day; Waking up to sunshine; playing at the park with cousins and brothers; having a BBQ and ending the day around a fire pit
“Caden is a bright and energetic child. As he was recovering, he was excited to show everyone how strong he was becoming. He is active in baseball, basketball and martial arts, and has an incredibly creative mind.” -- Amit Mehta, M.D., assistant professor of pediatrics, Division of Pediatric Critical Care Medicine, OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital, on behalf of the entire Pediatric Intensive Care Unit team.
Melissa Miller, 13, Turner, Ore.
Diagnosis: Atrial septal defect and diabetes
What do you want to be when you grow up? An actress, counselor/therapist, teacher (preschool through first), pediatric nurse
Hero: My mom
Perfect day: Act in a movie or on Broadway in New York
“Melissa was diagnosed this past year with an atrial septal defect and type 1 diabetes. She has been a wonderful trooper, adapting to her diabetes regimen and having heart surgery within a few months of diagnosis.” -- Julie Martchenke, P.N.P., pediatric nurse practitioner, Division of Pediatric Cardiology; and Ines Guttmann-Bauman, M.D., assistant professor of pediatrics, Division of Pediatric Endocrinology, OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital.
Alejandro Munoz, 8, Medford, Ore.
Diagnosis: Stage 4 kidney disease
What do you want to be when you grow up? A football player
Hero: My parents and Marcus Mariota
Perfect day: Christmas Day
“Alejandro’s enthusiasm for life is apparent to anyone fortunate to meet him. He is an avid reader who shines in math, but mostly Alejandro loves playing sports. Every day he works diligently to improve his skills. Alejandro participates energetically in all these endeavors, despite a medical condition in which a kidney transplant is likely in the next few years. He is a model patient and an inspiring child.” -- David Rozansky, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of pediatrics, Division of Kidney Services & Hypertension, OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital.
Addie Peterson, 14, Clackamas, Ore.
Diagnosis: Cystic fibrosis
What do you want to be when you grow up? A teacher
Hero: My orchestra teacher, Colleen Wheeler
Perfect day: Going on a trip to the beach with my friend without having to do any treatments (for my CF).
“Addie is an amazing young woman who is very dedicated to her cystic fibrosis care. She is active in her community has been involved in several events for the Doernbecher Children’s Hospital Foundation and loves giving back through fundraising activities. She is a beautiful individual that brings a smile to everyone she meets.” -- Michael Powers, M.D., professor of pediatrics and head, Division of Pediatric Pulmonology; and Holger Link, M.D., clinical associate professor of pediatrics (pediatric pulmonology), OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital.