Six patients from OHSU Doernbecher Children's Hospital on Friday night unveiled the 13th annual Freestyle collection, a partnership with Nike that's become one of the most-watched sneaker events of the year.
The partnership pairs Doernbecher patients with Nike designers who work together over several months developing a collection of footwear and apparel for each patient using the silhouette of an existing Nike shoe. Each product is loaded with symbolism, including obstacles overcome and favorite animals and superheroes.
The 2016 Doernbecher Freestyle collection includes six sneakers: a Nike Air Max Zero, Women's Air Huarache Run Ultra, Stefan Janoski Max, Air Jordan VII, Kyrie 2 and Women's Air Max Zero.
"It was very fun," said Chehayla Hyatt, 10, a cystic fibrosis patient.
Hyatt said her favorite part of her collection is a zip hoody with animal ears. She also designed leggings and the Women's Nike Air Max Zero.
Each patient will have one full collection auctioned Friday evening at the Portland Art Museum. A limited number of shoes and apparel will be available at Nike stores and through Nike.com.
Proceeds benefit the hospital. The partnership has raised $14 million to date for the hospital.
"It's been an amazing opportunity," said Tami Swearingen, whose son Chase Swearingen designed a Nike Air Max Zero, a t-shirt and baseball hat. "The chance to give back to Doernbecher has meant so much to our son."
Jim Ervin, executive director of the Doernbecher Foundation, said the partnership lifts the spirits of patients and hospital staff year round. It's also boosted the hospital's reputation.
"Doernbecher Freestyle means everything to kids and families at Doernbecher," he said. "We're extremely grateful to Nike. Across the country and around the world, Nike has helped put Doernbecher on the map."
Nike employees volunteer to work with the Freestyle designers.
The sneakers are coveted by collectors. Several rank among the most collectible in history, according to StockX, an online sneaker market.
Click through the gallery for photos of this year's collection.
The Portland Business Journal is a KGW News partner.