Finnigan Mooney — Nike/Doernbecher Freestyle designer

Finnigan Mooney
Age: 10
Diagnosis: Hypoplastic left heart syndrome
Nike/Doernbecher Freestyle Shoe: Dunk Hi SB

Q: So a cowboy rides into town on Friday and leaves on Friday but only stays three days. How is this possible?
A: The horse’s name is Friday.

That’s the kind of non-stop entertainment you can find from Finnigan Joseph Mooney, a natural comedian with an infectious smile. Finn has toughed out more than 13 heart surgeries during his life, but his positive attitude has remained unscathed.

Making his friends and family laugh is just one of Finn’s favorite hobbies. He also loves playing basketball, jumping on his trampoline, and perfecting his killer golf game (he recently placed second in a local junior golf tournament).

Finn poured every bit of his sunny personality into his Nike/Doernbecher Freestyle custom kicks. An in-your-face yellow upper is emblazoned with the words “THUMP THUMP” in homage to his unstoppable heart. The Nike swoosh is affixed with medical stitches just like the ones used during Finn’s surgeries, and his actual thumbprint appears on the outsole of the shoe.

“Whenever Finn came out of surgery, we’d look for him to give us two thumbs up,” said Finn’s mom, Aimee. “It became a pretty important symbol for us.”

Finn also included some words of encouragement in his design that might sound familiar. Inside, one shoe reads “I CAN,” while the other says “DO IT.”

“It’s sort of my tribute to Nike and ‘Just Do It,” he explained. “I know I can do this.”


Willow Bacon
Salix Creative

4 responses to “Finnigan Mooney — Nike/Doernbecher Freestyle designer

  1. Why didn’t we hear about these before they were sold out (in Albany) because I would LOVE to support this program. I live on Social Security Disability so it’s tight, but I can think of no better way to spend some of those funds than by supporting and helping to give a better quality of life to these children and/or save a life. How would I purchase these, for in the future, and are there any other such programs that you know about similar to this, helping people?

    1. Hi, Stacy! The good news is that many of the shoe styles are still available for purchase online and at select Nike retail stores, so you still might be able to pick up a pair! In the future, you can watch this blog, the Doernbecher Freestyle Facebook page, or our web site for updated Freestyle information. Please let us know if you have any more questions. Thank you for supporting Doernbecher! -Anne

  2. Who would I contact about this shoe design program? My son Logan is very much a regular at Doernbecher for his Cystic Fibrosis. We come all the time for various treatments for his CF and liver disease. He would love to get involved and design a shoe next year.

    Great program!

    Thank you, Corrine Hockley

    1. Thanks for the great question, Corrine! Doernbecher hospital staff nominate patients to be Doernbecher Freestyle designers. If you or your child would like to participate in the program, please speak with a Doernbecher staff member, like your child’s doctor or nurse, to get more information. Please let me know if you have any other questions. -Anne

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