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Amyiah is a driven, artistic girl who believes in being true to herself. To help her walk the walk, she included the phrase STAY TRUE TO YOURSELF on the outsole of her Nike Flyknit shoe. “Those are the words I live by, because I always want to be truthful,” she said. “If someone asks you something, you tell it straight.”




Portland, Ore.


Sickle cell anemia and indeterminate colitis


Air Max Thea Ultra Flyknit

Amyiah’s colorful ombre shoe features her name loud and proud, as well as a logo comprised of a heart with angel wings flying over the words ROCK STAR. “Sometimes I think I’m kind of a rock star,” she laughed. “And the angel heart is a symbol that means a lot to my mom. She was in the military, so it represents freedom. Besides, she’s my guardian angel.”

Besides being true to herself, Amyiah also believes in being true to her roots, which is why the inside of one shoe features a map of her hometown in Oklahoma, while the other contains a map of Oregon. Amyiah moved here in 2015 to be closer to family and to be treated for sickle cell anemia, which requires monthly transfusions at Doernbecher.

“When I got tackled, I just got back up. It kind of made me feel invincible!”


During her frequent visits, Amyiah has formed a strong bond with her care team, particularly Dr. Trisha Wong and her nurse, Jolene Taylor. “Dr. Wong is always there and helps me feel better,” said Amyiah. “And I can tell that Jolene cares about my mom and me way more than just when I’m in the hospital.”

Amyiah during treatment at OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital

Amyiah says she’d like to be an artist someday, although she also dreams of being an NFL star. In fact, she said that playing football in 4th grade helped her learn how to face her medical challenges.

“When I got tackled, I just got back up. It kind of made me feel invincible!”

Dr. Wong agrees with that assessment. “I’m pretty sure, if given the opportunity, that Amyiah could rule the world.”

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