Central Point, Ore. – For 15 years, Nurses and doctors at Doernbecher Children’s Hospital have nominated their patients to create individual shoe and clothing collections with Nike, and one of this year’s designers is local.
But a year ago, Aiden Barber’s future was uncertain.
“Maybe I wouldn’t survive,” he said.
Doctors found a “cavernous malformation” or brain lesion that required surgery.
“It was terrifying, it was the longest day of our lives – my husband and I,” his mom, Sharee Barber said. “I don’t think any parent wants to experience that.”
Fortunately, it was removed and Aiden recovered quickly with his family right by his side.
“He walked in with the attitude that I’m here and I gotta get this done, so I can be a kid again,” she said.
Aiden’s story and recovery inspired his nurses and doctors to nominate him for the Doernbecher Freestyle program.
“She asked me how I would be if I won, and I said I would be excited… and she said I won, and I was so, so excited,” he said.
Through this program, the nine year old and five other Oregon patients have been given the opportunity to use their medical journeys and life experiences to design individual collections.
“It means we get to design and do stuff, and it’s just like doing what a boss does,” he said.
Aiden says his designs are a huge secret, but he’s been loving the time he spends at Nike World Headquarters in Beaverton creating his own shoe and clothing line.
“Like everyone was so impressed, everyone keeps telling me – I’m famous,” he said.
Aiden will finally get to reveal his collection in November, when it is auctioned off. The proceeds of the auction will go to the Doernbecher Children’s Hospital.
Devin Gooden graduated from Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication with a Master’s degree in Sports Journalism.
She has spent most of her life in Atlanta, Georgia and received her undergraduate degree from the University of Georgia in Business Management.
When she’s not reporting, Devin practices yoga, reads thriller novels and loudly cheers for her beloved Georgia Bulldawgs.