Oregon Ducks to wear uniforms designed by child cancer survivors
PORTLAND, Ore. – The Oregon Ducks are donning new uniforms for their home game on September 9, and they’ll be looking for more than just a victory over Nebraska – they also want to help OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital fight cancer.
In their corner: Nike - and a team of young cancer survivors.
The team revealed the uniforms on Thursday, designed by three OHSU pediatric cancer patients who survived the deadly disease.
Each said it was a challenge to keep the design a secret for more than a year.
“I didn't really tell any of my friends. They were really questioning me and I just sort of ignored them,” said Sophia Malinoski, one of the co-designers.
For the past 14 years, patients at Doernbecher Children’s Hospital have worked with Nike designers to create athletic gear. Sales from the shoes and apparel have raised close to $17 million for medical research and equipment.
Nike invited University of Oregon student athletes to team up with child cancer survivors and Nike designers to build a uniform for the Duck football team.
The teams formed in May and got to work.
“This is the first time we brought in football athletes to collaborate with kids on a full head to toe system of dress,” said Paul Sullivan, the University of Oregon Art Director for Nike.
Three teams formed to design the uniforms and gear for fans.
Joe MacDonald, 14, of Gresham teamed up with Justin Hollins, a UO defensive lineman; and Risa Beck, a footwear color designer from Nike. Macdonald was diagnosed with Burkitt leukemia.
Sophia Malinoski, 10, of Portland worked with offensive lineman Tyrell Crosby and Nike graphic designer Ryan Wilmot. Malinoski was diagnosed with a brain tumor.
Ethan Frank, 13, of Medford formed a team with defensive back Khalil Oliver and Sara Cruthers, a senior product designer for Nike. Frank was diagnosed with a brain tumor.
“Each one of these Doernbecher designers brought in a tremendous amount of work, and it was really mind-blowing to think of all the unique creativity that they each have,” Sullivan said.
The Ducks will take the field in the uniforms at Autzen against Nebraska.
The fan gear will be available September 4 on nike.com and in some retail stores.
Proceeds from sales will benefit a pediatric cancer fund at OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital.