Patients design Nike shoes for kids' hospital

Patients design Nike shoes for kids' hospital

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by KGW Staff

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kgw.com

Posted on November 30, 2012 at 6:00 PM

Updated Tuesday, Dec 4 at 1:21 PM

PORTLAND -- Rare shoes from first-time designers had people lining up in downtown Portland Friday—Nike shoes designed by young patients to support Doernbecher Children’s Hospital.

Six kids who have been patients at the hospital designed the shoes. Fifth-grader Finn Mooney obviously put his heart into his work.

"I chose red because that is the heart color,” he said. “And I chose gold because it gives it a little pizzazz."

"The left side of his heart never grew, so he's had 13 different surgeries to correct that and right now he's doing awesome," said his mother Amy Mooney.

“Finn goes to sleep thinking about his shoe,” she added. “He wakes up thinking about his shoe, asking, ‘What do you think they're doing with my shoe right now?’"

"These are the stitches on my heart," Finn explained as he admired his design.

All profits from the designs go to Doernbecher.

“It raises money so children can get healthier," said Finn.

Every year Nike relies on doctor recommendations to pick the shoe designers.

“They tell their story through the footwear and sometimes it's their journey at Doernbecher," Nike Creative Director Michael Doherty said.

In nine years of the freestyle design program, the hospital has made more than $5 million and more than 50 once-hurting kids have become celebrities.

"We see kids kind of blossom through this program because they've had an opportunity to talk about what it was like to go through cancer treatment or have heart surgery," said Ashley Schmidt with Doernbecher Children's Hospital.

The Doernbecher freestyle designs range in price from $75 to $175. Finn's creation and one other design released Friday were instantly extremely hard to find.

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KGW Reporter Cathy Marshall contributed to this report.

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