Doernbecher Freestyle: A physician’s point of view

Ten-year-old Emory was diagnosed with advanced chronic kidney disease last year. Her pediatric nephrologists, Dr. Sandra Iragorri and Dr. David Rozansky, were so impressed by Emory’s positive attitude, they nominated her for the Doernbecher Freestyle program.

We sat down with Dr. Iragorri to learn more about Emory.


How does the Doernbecher Freestyle program benefit our patients?

Working with world-class sports apparel designers is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Being selected for the program – and then seeing your work of art exhibited for everyone to see – is an amazing way to recognize the strength of what our children have to go through, and what we ask the families to go through. I think it’s a very nice way to recognize how much we value them as people and as families.

It’s also a wonderful way for Nike to give back to their community and to recognize the true spirit of the Northwest, of Portland, of children in general. It’s a very beautiful way to give back.

Why did you nominate Emory to become a Doernbecher Freestyle patient-designer?

Emory is a very lovely and articulate young lady, and she’s very obviously artistic and creative (just look at the kidney-themed drawing she made for Dr. Iragorri, below!). She has a very, very supportive and lovely family. I thought this was a nice opportunity to acknowledge and recognize Emory as a person who’s had to really learn to live with her recent diagnosis – It was like a bomb dropped in her lap, but she’s been extremely brave. She’s been very good about blood tests and daily injections and coming to see us. She just seems to fit the bill!

What do you like about working with kids like Emory?

I like to see them feel better and I like the connections I make with children and their families. This connection is from the heart, and it’s what keeps me going. Plus, kids are fun! You can be silly, and that’s always good.

Will you be at the Doernbecher Freestyle auction on October 23 to see Emory’s designs and cheer her on?

Yes! It will be my first time.


Meet Emory and the rest of this year’s incredible Doernbecher Freestyle patient-designers here – and save the date for the big collection reveal at our auction on October 23!

Additional coverage: “Salem 10-year-old designs shoe with help from Nike” via the Statesman Journal