We are excited to announce that Cole Johanson’s 2010 Air Jordan 3 Retros are the second set of shoes to be rereleased this summer in celebration of the 10th anniversary of the Doernbecher Freestyle program.
Cole’s fiery red kicks were a favorite among sneaker collectors and will be available Saturday, July 20, at nikestore.com and in select Nike retail locations across the country.
Cole was diagnosed with Burkitt lymphoma at age 9 while vacationing with his family in Utah. He was having difficulty breathing so his family rushed him to the Emergency Department, where they learned he had a large cancerous tumor in his stomach. Cole spent two weeks in a Utah hospital before returning to Portland to begin treatment at OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital.
Cole’s cancer was an aggressive one — at one point his tumor was doubling in size every 24 hours — but the doctors and nurses at OHSU Doernbecher were able to help him get better. He told us he is thankful for the care he received and the way he was treated at OHSU Doernbecher:
“It felt more like a family, a community of people who cared about me. Everybody at Doernbecher was really cool. The nurses made me feel like a famous person because they were always coming in to ask me if I needed anything. It’s a great place to be when you’re not in the best times.”
Cole was asked to be a Doernbecher Freestyle designer in 2010 and was grateful for the opportunity to give something back. His signature pair of Air Jordan 3 Retros feature the two words that helped him beat his disease: Strength and Courage.
“Those are the two things you need the most,” he said. “Especially courage. I mean, everybody has it. The trick is just not letting it go when hard things happen.”
Cole, now 14, is about to begin his freshman year at Beaverton High School. He can’t wait to play high school hoops, and of course, he’ll be rocking a pair of Air Jordans.
“I spend a lot of time on NIKEiD pretending to design another great shoe,” he said. “But nothing is as cool as the Freestyle shoe I created as an 11-year-old.”
The first Doernbecher Freestyle 10th anniversary special edition shoe, Mike Armstrong’s limited edition Air Max 95, was released July 6. Read more here.
Associate Director of Development
OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital Foundation