There’s the Oct. 31 kind of scary. The fake, Halloween kind that doesn’t really scare anybody.
Then there’s the July 17th kind of scary. For Autumn Boynton, that’s a two-sided kind of fear.
It was on that day in 2005 when three-year-old Autumn awoke her father, Billy, in the middle of the night with what he called the “really scary screams.”
Those screams, as they soon discovered, were the result of a pair of cancerous Wilms’ tumors on her kidneys. Within a matter of months she would be kidney-less and on her way through a four-year marathon of radiation and dialysis treatments.
Then came the other kind of July 17th scary.
It was on that same date in 2009 that Billy Boynton, too, would lose a kidney.
Scary, yes, but the kind of scary that comes packaged with hope and anticipation, because Billy’s kidney would soon become Autumn’s kidney with the help of Oregon Health & Science University’s Doernbecher Children’s Hospital.
That selfless, life-saving act allowed his little girl with the fire-red hair to grow into a sparkling, ebullient 10-year-old with pop-star aspirations.
Now, she has the shoes to match the sparkle.
Boynton was one of six Doernbecher patients chosen to participate in the hospital’s now nine-year Doernbecher Freestyle program in partnership with Nike Inc.
The patients are teamed with a pair of Nike employees — one designer, one product developer — to design a collection of footwear in their vision.
In addition to an auction held Saturday, the shoes will hit select Nike retail stores and the company’s e-commerce store on Nov. 30.
The proceeds benefit Doernbecher Children’s Hospital and if last year's bounty is any indication, the total will be significant.
The Freestyle program last year netted $1.2 million for the hospital — up 45 percent from the nearly $826,000 collected in 2010.
So for $100 (or $78 for youth sizes), you can buy a pair of pink-and-black Air Max 90s covered in peace signs and, yes, sparkles.
Portland Business Journal photographer Cathy Cheney and I joined Autumn during parts of her journey through the Freestyle process. The result is this photo story.
The Portland Business Journal is a KATU.com news partner.