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OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital unveils 2015 Nike Doernbecher Freestyle patient-designers

Six patients from Oregon and Southwest Washington to design footwear, apparel to benefit hospital

In celebration of the collective strength, character and creativity of its patients, OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital today announced the patient-designers of the 12th-annual Nike “Doernbecher Freestyle” program:

  • Jacob Burris, 13, Eugene, Ore.
  • John Charles, 10, Brush Prairie, Wash.
  • Emory Maughan, 10, Salem, Ore.
  • Isaiah Grubb, 8, West Linn, Ore.
  • Lizzy Olivan, 11, The Dalles, Ore.
  • Kian Safholm, 11, Hillsboro, Ore.

An extraordinary partnership with Nike, the “Doernbecher Freestyle” program gives hospital patients the opportunity to make their mark designing one-of-a-kind, covetable Nike footwear and apparel that help support the hospital that changed their lives.

“This remarkable program, which has raised over $11 million to date, is a tribute to kids who have overcome tremendous medical challenges,” said Dana Braner, M.D., F.A.A.P., F.C.C.M.,interim physician-in-chief, OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital, and professor and interim chair, Department of Pediatrics, OHSU School of Medicine. “The Doernbecher Freestyle program allows our patient-designers to tell their medical journey in their own unique way while helping other kids going through similar experiences. We couldn’t be more proud of our continued 12-year relationship with Nike to deliver this amazing opportunity to our patients.”

Each year, hospital physicians, nurses and staff nominate patients from around Oregon and Southwest Washington to design limited-edition footwear and apparel. The selected designers travel to the Nike world headquarters near Beaverton, Ore., where they meet their world-class Nike design and development team, 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.

On October 23, 2015, their designs will be unveiled in Portland at the annual Doernbecher Freestyle auction before they are made available online and at retail locations nationwide in November.

Since its inception in 2003, the Doernbecher Freestyle program has engaged 71 OHSU Doernbecher patients, deeply involving their families and engaging 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. More than $11 million has been raised to date to help 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.

“Doernbecher Freestyle” was conceived by Michael Doherty, Nike Senior 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.

2015 Doernbecher Freestyle Patient-Designer Profiles

Jacob Burris, 13, Eugene, Ore.
Diagnosis: Coarctation (disconnect of the aorta)
What do you want to be when you grow up? A video game designer
Hero: Stan Lee
Perfect day: To play a perfect game of baseball. It would be a beautiful sunny day. I’d be hitting home runs every at bat, making zero errors on the field, and then winning the game!

“Jacob personifies what a young, kind and appreciative young man should be. Others will be inspired by his courage and determination to recover. He took ownership of his condition, the surgery and exactly what it took for him to recover and get back to his life.” – Rich Reed, P.A.-C, M.P.A.S., R.N.,advance practice provider, Division of Pediatric Cardiac Surgery, OHSU Doernbecher

John Charles, 10, Brush Prairie, Wash.
Diagnosis: Crohn’s disease
What do you want to be when you grow up? A professional athlete
Hero: My mom
Perfect day: Sleeping in until I wake up on my own. Have a big breakfast with my family, and then go hiking with my family in the Gorge. After that, we’d go to a nice dinner and a movie. Then, I’d come home and fall asleep with my dog, Teagan.

“John is exuberant despite his tough and incurable disease. He is resilient and attends school to live past his illness. Regardless of his symptoms, he is always smiling and joking. John diligently takes his medications daily and has to have frequent blood draws. He does this with gusto … this dude is fearless.” – Linda Muir, M.D., F.A.A.P., Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology, OHSU Doernbecher

Emory Maughan, 10, Salem, Ore.
Diagnosis: Stage IV kidney failure
What do you want to be when you grow up? A librarian
Hero: My dad
Perfect day: The day I can have a working kidney!

“Emory is a delightful, intelligent and engaging young lady who never knew she had any health issues until a blood test this past year revealed she had advanced chronic kidney disease and that she will likely need a kidney transplant in the intermediate future. We have been so impressed by the way she has accepted the challenges of this condition while still pursuing all the things a near teenager loves to do.” – Sandra Iragorri, M.D., and David Rozansky, M.D., Ph.D., Division of Pediatric Nephrology and Hypertension, OHSU Doernbecher

Isaiah Grubb, 8, West Linn, Ore.
Diagnosis: Cortical dysplasia
What do you want to be when you grow up? A football player
Hero: Batman
Perfect day: Hanging out with my grandpa.

“Isaiah is an extraordinary kid -- amazingly thoughtful, precocious, smart, interested in his condition and able to talk about it. He is absolutely striking to everyone who meets him.” – Nathan R. Selden, M.D., Ph.D., F.A.C.S, F.A.A.P., Division of Pediatric Neurosurgery, OHSU Doernbecher

Lizzy Olivan, 11, The Dalles, Ore.
Diagnosis: Acute lymphoblastic leukemia
What do you want to be when you grow up? I would love to be a great dancer
Hero: My dad
Perfect day: Spend time with my family having fun and laughing.

“Lizzy is an amazing, happy young lady with a totally positive attitude. Although most kids can’t continue to participate in their activities during the first part of leukemia treatment, Lizzie has continued attending her ballet and tap classes. She is also a dedicated student and is determined to continue to do well in school even during treatment. Lizzy has a fire that doesn’t come along too often!” – Susan Lindemulder, M.D., Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, OHSU Doernbecher

Kian Safholm, 11, Hillsboro, Ore.
Diagnosis: Staph infection throughout body
What do you want to be when you grow up? A basketball player
Hero: LeBron James and Stephen Curry
Perfect day: A trip to Disneyland with my family.

"Kian is a fighter. This may be a challenge for his parents, his sister, his teachers, his Boy Scout troop, and his soccer league, but he will not give up. Kian is an amazing person. He is a funny, thoughtful, smart, loving athlete who deserves to be recognized."– Jane Kim-Hoffman, M.D., Division of General Pediatrics, OHSU Doernbecher


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