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Designing inspiration: Introducing the 2018 Doernbecher Freestyle patient-designers

Unique program featuring Nike designs created by young patients celebrates 15th year; has raised nearly $20 million to benefit children’s hospital
Freestyle 15 logo.jpg

An extraordinary collaboration between OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital and Nike, Inc., Doernbecher Freestyle gives young patients the opportunity to make their mark designing Nike footwear and apparel collections inspired by their lives, medical journeys and hopes for the future.

Since 2004, 91 young patients have created Doernbecher Freestyle designs that have been auctioned and sold to raise almost $20 million for OHSU Doernbecher, the hospital that changed their lives.

To kick off its 15th year, Doernbecher Freestyle introduces the 2018 patient-designers:

Doernbecher Freestyle XV_Aiden Barber
Aiden Barber: Aiden, 9, is an incoming third-grader from Central Point, Oregon. In 2017, he underwent surgery to correct a vascular malformation. He loves football and dreams of visiting Disney World and NASA. Although they are not twins, Aiden and his sister share a birthday years apart. (Dan Root Photography)


Doernbecher Freestyle XV_Chloe Swientek

Chloe Swientek: Chloe’s secret talent is to make people smile. A soccer and football fanatic, this 10-year-old Portland resident lives with cystic fibrosis. One day, Chloe hopes to travel to England to see the Queen’s world-famous corgis. (Dan Root Photography)


Doernbecher Freestyle XV_Donovon Dinneen

Donovon Dinneen: Hailing from Riddle, Oregon, 10-year-old Donovon can not only stand on his head, but he can also run on his knees. In 2010 he was diagnosed with a rare meningococcal infection that resulted in a kidney transplant and a quadruple amputation. He loves basketball, Pokemon cards and his mom. (Dan Root Photography)


Doernbecher Freestyle XV_Joey Bates

Joey Bates: Joey, 12, loves football, playing Xbox and watching Star Wars movies. An incoming seventh-grader from Scappoose, Oregon, he was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. Joey’s family and friends love his wonderful sense of humor. (Dan Root Photography)


Doernbecher Freestyle XV_Kirsten Brown

Kirsten Brown: Kirsten’s most prized possession is her new heart. In 2016, she suffered a stroke and underwent a heart transplant. Now, at the age of 15, Kirsten loves baseball, studying science and going to the movies with friends. She lives in Salem, Oregon. (Dan Root Photography)


Doernbecher Freestyle XV_Payton Fentress

Payton Fentress: 11-year-old Payton lives in Portland. In 2010, he was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. He is a lover of baseball, Jurassic World, his prized guitar and a good burger and fries. (Dan Root Photography)

The designs created by Aiden, Chloe, Donovon, Joey, Kirsten and Payton will be unveiled on Saturday, Nov. 10, at the annual Doernbecher Freestyle auction taking place at the Nike World Headquarters near Portland.

The full collections will be available for purchase at and at select retail locations later in the year.

All of the proceeds from the auction and retail sales will be donated to OHSU Doernbecher to expand pioneering research, support clinical care, purchase state-of-the-art equipment, recruit new pediatric experts and help cover the cost of care for families in need.

About Doernbecher Freestyle

Doernbecher Freestyle was conceived in 2004 by Michael Doherty, senior creative director of Nike Global Brand Presentations and longtime board member of the Doernbecher Children’s Hospital Foundation, after his son suggested Nike produce limited-edition shoes to honor patients and benefit the hospital.

Each year, hospital physicians, nurses and staff nominate patients ages 8 - 15 from around Oregon and Southwest Washington to participate in the program. The selected kids work side by side with dedicated Nike design and development teams to brainstorm ideas, select materials and work with vendors to make even the most extraordinary visions come to life. These young patients use their designs to express powerful personal messages — sometimes serious, sometimes whimsical — about their life experiences, medical journey and hopes for the future. The program provides an opportunity for each patient designer to help other kids at the same hospital that changed their lives.

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