Introducing The Doernbecher Freestyle 2018 Collection
15 years ago, former Nike creative director Michael Doherty followed through on a vision from his son, Connor: what if Doernbecher patients could design their own Nike shoes, working alongside Nike designers and developer teams, and then donate the proceeds to the hospital?
The evolution of that idea – what is now Doernbecher Freestyle, wherein each year, six hospital patients design a Nike silhouette and apparel – has raised nearly $20 million for Doernbecher, contributing to new treatments and better care for kids by advancing medical research and supporting the work of pediatric specialists. It’s also earned a devoted following in the sneaker community.
The biggest impact of Freestyle, though, can’t be measured in dollar signs or by a stethoscope: it brings back hope for the kids, and instills a sense of creative control when agency over their own lives can feel lost.