Since 2004, Nike and Oregon Health & Science University’s Doernbecher Children’s Hospital have teamed up to give young patients the ultimate opportunity: design a Nike shoe, and the profits will go to the hospital. In 2018, a diagnosis of type-1 diabetes and celiac disease brought fourth-grader Desiree to Doernbecher, where doctors were able to connect Desiree with resources to help with both the physical and emotional aspects of her struggle.
Designing this velvety Freestyle shoe was a therapeutic labor of love. She went through over 100 colored pencils until she found the perfect palette. The midsole is circled with the names of family members, while the back features the name of her cat, Charlie. A blood droplet graphic on the outsole represents the finger pokes she does to monitor her blood sugar—and on the sock liner are lyrics from her favorite band. “It’s a little scary to tell my story. But if I can help just one kid avoid what I went through, then it will all be worth it.”