For those of you who swear by your Nike sneakers, here’s a story for you. Too often we share the annoying, the funny or the trendy articles but overlook the feel-good news out there. This was a story I wanted to share.
Even I take for granted the little luxuries that grant us independence like buttoning a dress shirt or tying my shoelaces. For people out there living with certain disabilities, like cerebral palsy or someone who has suffered from a stroke, those are things they will never take for granted.
Matthew Walzer is a teenager from Florida who has an unusual challenge as he looks forward to college. He has cerebral palsy, so while he can get himself dressed, he can’t tie his sneakers. Being an avid Nike fan (they offer an array of sneakers with full ankle support) he posted an open letter appealing to the company’s CEO, Mark Parker, to create a shoe that he could put on by himself.
The letter made its way to Parker’s desk and coincidentally, they were already experimenting on such a shoe inspired by Jeff Johnson, Nike’s first-ever employee, who had a stroke and lost use of the right side of his body.
The end result of all this? The Flyease, which offers an innovative zipper closure, is easy to secure and offers the ankle support that athletes—of all abilities—need. And in case you’re wondering, Nike delivered a custom sneaker to Walzer via his favorite athlete LeBron James and he can’t wait to wear them his freshman year of college.
- On July 21, 2015