In January of 2012, Isaac Arzate suffered a heart attack at basketball practice and was sent to Doernbecher Children’s Hospital from his hometown of Salem, where he underwent open-heart surgery to fix a previously undetected abnormality.
While recovering, Isaac was invited to participate in the Doernbecher Freestyle IX collection and began designing an Air Jordan 5 Doernbecher. The design sketches he started on showcased many of his interests and life-experiences, including sports and video games. Tragically, in April of that same year, 12-year-old Isaac suffered another heart attack and passed away.
While saddened by Isaac’s passing, Nike and Doernbecher were inspired by his life — by the passion and spirit with which he lived — and asked his family if they’d complete Isaac’s design as a tribute. They agreed and, using the original sketches Isaac had drawn, as well as some others found by his parents, the Air Jordan 5 Doernbecher was finished, boasting a design featuring elements that represent who Isaac was, highlighting several of his interests.
Starting with sports, Isaac’s jersey numbers are printed on either shoe — his baseball number, 9, appears on the left shoe’s upper, while his basketball number, 31, adorns the right.
On both shoes meanwhile, the inside of the tongue features Isaac’s initials and the dates of his birth and passing.
Inspired by Isaac’s affinity for video games, much of the design glows in the dark, and each pair even includes a flashlight. Further, both uppers are printed with a poem in black light ink. The poem, written by Isaac the day before his passing, includes words like: “My team. My Family. We are brothers forever. No matter what.”
Isaac’s Air Jordan 5 Doernbecher releases September 14, with all proceeds from sales of the shoe going to Doernbecher Children’s Hospital. The shoe will be available on Nike.com and at select Nike retail locations.
Air Jordan 5 DB
Style #: 633068-010
14 September 2013