Teen with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy Lives Out Dream to Design His Own Jordan Sneakers: 'So Cool'

"Just because you’re disabled doesn’t mean that your dream can't come true," said Jordan Carranza

Jordan Carranza
Jordan Carranza. Photo: Make-A-Wish foundation

A 13-year-old boy recently got to live out his dream in the most stylish of ways — and he's got an empowering message to go along with it.

Meet Jordan Carranza: a 13-year-old boy from Central Valley, who is currently battling Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD).

DMD, the most common type of muscular dystrophy diagnosed in childhood, first appears in very early childhood and weakens the muscles of the body in young boys, according to NYU Langone Health. Because it progresses rapidly, most children cannot walk by age 12 and later need a respirator to breathe.

From the time he was young, Carranza — who uses a wheelchair to get around — has known two things for certain: "Nike has always been my favorite brand, and I have always wanted to make a shoe," he said in a statement.

So when Make-A-Wish Oregon caught wind of his story, the nonprofit organization immediately got working with the Jordan Brand to make his dream a reality.

Jordan Carranza
Jordan Carranza with his family. Make-A-Wish foundation

During his first meeting with the shoe brand, Carranza came prepared with a sketch of his vision.

The brand then took his idea and elevated it, while giving him a privilege that only professional athletes get: a chance to document his creative process on Jordan's Player Edition (PE) watch.

Carranza's final design ended up being a play on the Air Jordan 1 Hi FlyEase in blue and white, which was created in order to match his personality, according to Make-A-Wish.

The shoe has elastic laces and an adjustable ankle strap attached to a zipper on the heel — a decision that was intentionally made to allow easy access for those who have trouble putting on traditional lace-up sneakers.

Jordan Carranza
The Jordan sneakers that Jordan Carranza designed. Make-A-Wish foundation

"I chose this type of shoe because they're my favorite," Carranza explained in a statement. "I could've done any design but I picked this one because I wore these since I was little. They're so special."

The sneaker also features the logo of an athlete in a wheelchair, as well as Michael Jordan's number 23 on the sole.

Inside the shoe, Carranza wrote a meaningful quote and his initials, which were printed on the sole of the foot. The other shoe sole featured his name and the iconic Jumpman logo.

"The reason I made a handicap-style [shoe] is that it shows me that just because you're disabled doesn't mean that your dream can't come true," Carranza said.

Jordan Carranza
The inside of Jordan Carranza's sneaker. Make-A-Wish foundation

Of course, the teen wasn't the only one who got a pair of the custom sneakers.

His family also got to rock the new kicks after the Jordan brand created seven pairs exclusively for his parents and siblings.

"My family's gonna be famous," he said while unboxing the new shoes in front of his family. "They're so cool."

Jordan Carranza
The inside of Jordan Carranza's sneaker. Make-A-Wish foundation

In a statement about making Carranza's wish come true, the Jordan Brand said they were thrilled to be a part of the special moment.

"Just like our professional athletes, Jordan is a premier member of our Jordan Brand Family," they said in a statement. "Our commitment to purpose and the values on which our brand was built should be accessible to all – regardless of ability."

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Since 1980, Make-A-Wish has granted more than 500,000 wishes across nearly 50 countries on five continents, according to their website.

The Wish Journey is aimed at helping children build resilience and better cope with their critical illnesses while also bringing happiness to their families, caretakers and friends.

Those interested in donating to Make-A-Wish in order to help grant more wishes like Carranza's can do so here.

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