Since 2003, Nike has teamed up with Oregon Health & Science University Doernbecher Children’s Hospital for the “Doernbecher Freestyle” program. The purpose is to give hospital patients the opportunity to make their mark designing one-of-a-kind Nike footwear and apparel that help support the hospital that changed their lives.
The Doernbecher Freestyle program was created by Michael Doherty, Nike’s Senior Creative Director of global brand presentations and a board member of the Doernbecher Children’s Hospital Foundation, when his son suggested Nike create custom shoes to honor OHSU Doernbecher 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, Oregon where they meet their world-class Nike design and development team, brainstorm ideas and begin sketching their designs for the collection of 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.
In its 12 year run, the Doernbecher Freestyle program has had 71 patients participate all while raising money to support OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital and advancing the cause of children’s health. Since 2003, $11 million has been raised 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.
This year, 6 kids were chosen from the ages of 8-13 all with different illnesses ranging from leukemia to Crohn’s disease. This week, Nike unveiled the collection which includes the Air Jordan 13 Retro, Nike LeBron 13, Nike Air Max 95, Nike Air Max 90, Nike SB Stefan Janoski, and the Nike Free 5.0 TR Fit 5. The entire 2015 Doernbecher Collection will release on November 21st at select Nike retail locations across the nation.