Nike has teamed up with the OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital to pay tribute to 2012 Doernbecher Freestyle Program patient Isaac Arzate and his family with the release of the limited-edition Doernbecher Air Jordan V Retro.
Arzate was a talented young athlete who pitched a no-hitter in baseball and savored an undefeated season in basketball. However, in January 2012, he suffered a cardiac arrest at basketball practice and was sent from Salem to OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital, where doctors discovered a previously undetected abnormality that is one of the most common causes for heart attacks in young people.
After recovering from open-heart surgery, Isaac was invited by OHSU Doernbecher to be part of the 2012 Freestyle program, during which he began sketching designs for an Air Jordan V Retro, highlighting his interests and experiences. In April 2012, 12-year-old Isaac tragically suffered a second heart attack, and did not survive.
In honor of the late teen, Nike and OHSU Doernbecher invited Isaac’s family to work together to finish the design that Isaac had started. Using hisoriginal sketches as a guide and some more his parents found, they created a design reflecting Isaac’s vision and incorporating design elements that represented the things that mattered most to him in his life.
Some elements include: his jersey numbers, 9 for baseball on the upper of the left shoe and 31 for basketball on the right; his initials on the inside of the tongue, as well as the dates of his birth and passing; and several parts of the shoe glow in the dark, including the eyelets, lace toggle, outsole, Nike Air unit and quarter panels.
The upper features the words of a poem in black light ink that Isaac wrote just a day before he passed away — including “My team. My family. We are brothers forever. No matter what.”
Each pair includes a flashlight to complete the glow-in-the-dark effect, inspired by Isaac’s love of video games.
“We’ve been honored to work with Isaac’s family and thank them for their courage to complete the project in the name of their son and to support the much-needed fundraising efforts for Doernbecher,” said Michael Doherty, Nike’s Global Creative Presentation Director and member of the Doernbecher Foundation Board of Directors.
Limited quantities of the Doernbecher Air Jordan V Retro will be sold on Nike.com and at Nike retail locations beginning Saturday (September 14), with all proceeds from sales of the shoes benefitting OHSU Doernbecher.
To date, the program has raised more than $6 million to help expand pioneering research, support clinical care, purchase state-of-the-art equipment, recruit new experts and help cover the cost of care for families most in need.