Braylin Soon knows what it’s like to overcome a life-threatening medical condition. Two years ago she was diagnosed with acute liver failure and autoimmune hepatitis. In May 2014 she received a liver transplant, and now, at the age of 11, she is back in the limelight fulfilling her love of theater. Oh, yeah…she also designed her own Nike shoe and apparel collection that has raised $20,000 to date for OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital.
“I really want to help Doernbecher help other kids and make them feel better so they can live normal lives,” said Soon. That’s exactly what Doernbecher Freestyle is all about: celebrating the strength and creativity of OHSU Doernbecher patients and helping them give back to the hospital that saved their lives.
Since 2004, 78 kids from across Oregon and Southwest Washington have participated in Doernbecher Freestyle, a one-of-a-kind fundraiser that pairs OHSU Doernbecher patients with Nike designers to create unique shoe and apparel collections that are auctioned and sold at retail, with 100 percent of the proceeds benefiting the children’s hospital. To date, Doernbecher Freestyle has raised more than $16.5 million 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 is a source of inspiration for every child that has experienced a severe medical challenge,” said Dana Braner, M.D., physician-in-chief, OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital; and chair, Department of Pediatrics, OHSU School of Medicine. “All children have the potential to achieve their dreams, and Doernbecher Freestyle unleashes this potential, providing a preview of amazing things to come
Get a behind-the-scenes look at Doernbecher Freestyle 2016 here.