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Age: 15
Portland, Oregon
Diagnosis: Cystic fibrosis
Shoe: Air Jordan 1 Low

Riddhi Mahajan is not the type of girl to sit on the couch and watch the world go by. She’s on the tennis team. She swims. She plays basketball. She’s active in her school’s theater program, rocks a high GPA and earned a black belt in Tae Kwon Do just for good measure.  It’s also worth mentioning that Riddhi does all this while living with cystic fibrosis.

Riddhi first became acquainted with Doernbecher when she and her family moved to Portland from Washington, D.C. three years ago. Just as the family was settling into their new life, Riddhi developed serious complications in her lungs and sinuses that left her hospitalized for weeks at a time. “That whole thing was really difficult, but everyone at Doernbecher was exceptionally wonderful,” she said.

To pay it forward, Riddhi has become active in CF advocacy at both the local and the national level, speaking at events and sharing her perspective as a patient. She even appeared in a video about CF and presented it to Oregon Senators. “I have the power to use my voice, and so I’m going to use it to help find a cure,” she said.

Riddhi is excited to see her shoe for the first time

Because this charismatic, well-rounded teen radiates positivity everywhere she goes, she designed her collection to do the same. The reflective trim represents Riddhi’s bright outlook on life, while the embroidered daisy adds a cheerful touch. “Daisies just make me happy, and I like that they open up in the sunshine,” she explained.

Across the toe box, Riddhi included the phrase Brand New Day, because she believes that each new day is also a new opportunity to live, laugh and grow. Just to drive the message home, she designed the laces to mimic a sunrise.

Close-up of rainbow laces on Riddhi's shoe
Shoelaces on Riddhi’s shoe mimic a sunrise.

While Riddhi’s medical journey has been challenging, it’s also given her a front-row seat to her chosen profession: she wants to become a doctor someday. “Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve given my family pretend checkups,” she laughed. “As I’ve grown up, I’ve also grown to understand the value of doctors even more. They constantly inspire me.” We could say the same of Riddhi.

Close-up a cap in pastel colors that reads "radiate positivity"
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