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Monday, February 26, 2024
Feb. 26, 2024

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Yacolt teen works with Nike to make sneakers that make a statement

Nikes she designed part of annual auction for OHSU Doernbecher Children's Hospital

By , Columbian staff writer
4 Photos
Macey Bodily of Yacolt, 15, holds her custom-designed shoes for the Doernbecher Freestyle Auction. Macey was one of six young designers who created shoes and apparel for this freestyle collection.
Macey Bodily of Yacolt, 15, holds her custom-designed shoes for the Doernbecher Freestyle Auction. Macey was one of six young designers who created shoes and apparel for this freestyle collection. (Photos contributed by Nike & Oregon Health & Science University) Photo Gallery

After almost eight months, Macey Bodily of Yacolt, one of six young patient artists, finally saw her designs come to life as a part of the 19th Doernbecher Freestyle Collection.

On Friday, the designers, all of whom have experienced the care of OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital, gathered at the Portland Art Museum, alongside their friends, family and Nike’s design team, to celebrate the 19th annual Doernbecher Freestyle Auction, which successfully raised $979,000.

The ongoing partnership between Nike and OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital showcases the creativity of young designers and also offers crucial funding to support children with various challenging medical conditions.

Macey, 15, was just 5 years old when she was diagnosed with a rare brain tumor, for which she subsequently underwent a life-saving surgery at Doernbecher.

Combining her personal flair with the classic Nike Dunk High, Macey’s design is a blend of pastel purple, pink and blue hand-drawn flowers. A gray ribbon graces the heel, symbolizing her journey as a survivor of brain cancer.

The midsole bears the inscription, “She believed she could, so she did,” a motto that has served as a guiding factor throughout Macey’s life.

“It was amazing to be invited back, I was speechless when my parents told me I was going to be able to do this,” Macey said. “The whole process was a lot of fun.”

Macey started drawing when she began treatment and art therapy has helped hone her craft over the years. The process for the collection began in the spring when Macey was first invited to meet with the Nike design team. It all started with initial rough sketches, drawing inspiration from concepts on Pinterest, which ultimately evolved into the designs revealed at the auction.

The team began with a plain white shoe and took her designs from paper to the final colorful product. Courtney Bodily, Macey’s mother, said the whole process was so literal.

Macey and the design team at Nike didn’t stop at the shoes. They leveraged her artwork to craft an extra hoodie and a cross-body fanny pack. Notably, the fanny pack has a special touch — it features the recipe for her homemade chocolate chip cookies stitched on the inside.

“Macey is a wonderful 15-year-old,” said Jason Bodily, Macey’s father. “It’s her personality in that design, the colors and the artwork.”

Every freestyle collection, comprising accessories, clothing, and footwear, tells the story of the young patients at Doernbecher Children’s Hospital through their hand-drawn artwork, personal messages and vibrant color schemes. Since the inception of the annual freestyle collections, Nike and Doernbecher have collectively generated approximately $37 million, with the entirety of the auction proceeds going directly into supporting Doernbecher’s mission.

“Year after year, these young designers teach us the meaning of grace and courage. And by supporting them, together we have done something extraordinary,” OHSU said on its website.

‘See her within the shoe’

Raised in Yacolt, Macey enjoys playing the piano, camping with her family and baking. Her chocolate chip cookie recipe has become a favorite among her friends and family. Macey said she wants to be an American Sign Language interpreter when she’s older and has already begun taking the necessary classes.

“She’s just such a blessing to our family,” said Courtney Bodily. “And the shoes are just very Macey. When you think of Macey, you see her within the shoe.”

Courtney Bodily said Macey was 5 when the family noticed she was having vision issues and subsequently discovered she was blind in one eye. Doctors at Doernbecher Children’s Hospital ordered an MRI, where they later discovered Macey had a brain tumor called a craniopharyngioma, a rare tumor of the central nervous system.

“When my mom and dad told me to go pack a bag, I remember packing up all my stuffed animals that I had stacked at the end of my bed,” Macey said. “That’s really all I remember.”

The team of surgeons at Doernbecher performed a craniotomy, the surgical opening into the skull, and after nine hours, they were able to remove the entire tumor from Macey’s brain. Although the surgery was successful, some complications of her treatment caused a decreased hormonal function and secondary narcolepsy.

“I was able to provide Macey with medications that will really enable her to stay awake and do all the things she wanted to do as a healthy child,” said Elizabeth Super, associate professor of pediatrics at Doernbecher. Super treats Macey for her narcolepsy.

Macey now relies on lifelong medication, but she has taken charge of her diagnosis by overseeing her medication and proactively asking her doctors important questions.

The Bodily family expressed their gratitude for the support provided by Doernbecher throughout the years.

“The message I want to send is to just spread positivity, light and happiness,” Macey said.

The 2023 Doernbecher Freestyle XIX Collection will be available in December on nike.com, SNKRS and at select Nike locations throughout the U.S. All proceeds benefit the area of greatest need at OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital.

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This story was made possible by Community Funded Journalism, a project from The Columbian and the Local Media Foundation. Top donors include the Ed and Dollie Lynch Fund, Patricia, David and Jacob Nierenberg, Connie and Lee Kearney, Steve and Jan Oliva, The Cowlitz Tribal Foundation and the Mason E. Nolan Charitable Fund. The Columbian controls all content. For more information, visit columbian.com/cfj.