Nike and OHSU Children’s Hospital have partnered to offer a special collaboration staring their pediatric health care patients.
Due to Covid restrictions, Nike Designers came together to produce a Doernbecher Freestyle release that is sure to warm your heart. Typically, a bunch of kids get to chance to design their own shoes with the expertise of Nike Designers at their grasp. But with the need to social distance is vital, protecting patient care come first. Nonetheless, this year’s celebration was given a delightful spin.
Since the program’s conception in 2003, $29 million has been raised for OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital. To commemorate the Doernbecher kids’ sneaker art program, this year’s release is titled Air Jordan I ” What the Doernbecher”. The release serves as a tribute to the previous 14 All-Star Patient-Designers.
This year’s virtual event will be followed by an eBay auction where you can buy a pair of OHSU Childrens Hospital X Nike Air Jordans and support the pediatric health in a fun and creative way.
To celebrate the 17th year, there are only 17 pairs of the iconic release available . One pair of which was sold on Feb 25th, during a live virtual auction for reportedly over 1.5 million dollars.
This provably because each sneaker features a unique design element from the original 14 patient-designer’s completed designs Every patient-designer’s style being represented in a one-of-a-kind sneaker mash up. This sneaker art exemplifies the beauty of teamwork in the heart of a pandemic.
Of course, don’t forget to click each picture to see the specific design concepts included in this new Air Jordan release.
Last year, the Doernbecher Freestyle program highlighted Ethan, a heart transplant recipient, and a self-described “Sneakerhead”. Ethan teamed up with the Nike Design Team to produce a saucy Shoe + Bag + Jacket Collection for the Jordan 14s.
To highlight the iconic partnership, OHSU Childrens Hospital reconnected with Ethan to catch up on life and how the design program has made an impact on him.
In an interview, he tells reporters:
“When asked about his favorite part of the Doernbecher Freestyle program, Ethan said it had to be the night of the Doernbecher Freestyle collection reveal and auction when he has presented his designs to a live audience – and was surprised with a pair of alternate Air Jordan 14s that the Nike team made to complement his pair.
“Holding them up for Doernbecher and the Nike team to see was my best memory – it felt so good,” he said. “I’m grateful for everything they did for me.”
Ethan is now 17 and prepares to get his driver’s license with the help of his grandpa- while also working hard to recovery credits missed due to his long hospital visits.
Ethan has even written about his experience in the Nike design program which led to him receiving an A+ on hisriting assignment.
A symbol of strength and inspiration, Ethan reminds us all of the power of collaboration and how art can be both empowering and healing.
Written By Jeremy Wiles
Edited By Joseph Wiles