Grant Olsen — Nike/Doernbecher Freestyle designer

Grant Olsen
Age: 11

Diagnosis: Acute lymphoblastic leukemia
Shoe: Free Run +2

When Grant Olsen was six years old, his mom and dad found a lump in his neck that turned out to be leukemia. “I was shell-shecked when I found out,” said his mom, Karen. “But that first day, Grant’s doctor spent four hours with us explaning things even though he was so busy. That’s the kind of care we got all the way through.”

These days Grant is felling much better and back to playing sports and practicing his electric guitar. “I don’t know any real songs yet, just little exercises in the book,” he said.  “But I’m working on it!”

As for Grant’s Nike/Doernbecher Freestyle shoe, it’s a cool mashup of all his favorite things. Glow-in-the-dark speckles reflect his love of space. On the tongue, his very own logo boasts his initials, a lizard, an electric guitar and the words, “Do not fear or be dismayed.”  “I have the same thing on a necklace, and I wore it a lot at the hospital,” said Grant.

There’s something else you should know about Grant: the kid is crazy smart. He has earned straight A’s for as long as he can remember.

“Maybe the chemo made me smarter!”

Grant hopes his shoe will raise lots of money for OHSU Doernbecher – and to his doctors, he offers these wise words of encouragement: “Keep doin’ what you’re doin’!”



Willow Bacon
Salix Creative