Cidni O’Brien, one of this year’s lucky individuals, suffered from a pain in her chest when she was playing soccer back in 2018. She was then diagnosed with anomalous aortic origin of the left coronary artery; this meant her heart wasn’t receiving the necessary amount of oxygen, causing extremely poor cardiac function. Thankfully, O’Brien bounced back in six months following one major heart surgery, and she’s now back on the field with her team, the Lebanon Warriors.
The 16-year-old’s Air Force 1 Fontanka is dedicated to her teammates and the animals she holds dear.. Across the laces, the names of her goats, parrot, donkey, chicken, dog, and fish are proudly displayed, while O’Brien’s horse, Tank, receives a special mention across the left sockliner. Nikki, the young athlete’s mother, is celebrated along the right, and O’Brien comments that “[she] wouldn’t be here without her.” What’s more, if you flip the shoe to its outsole, you’ll find a graphic of shrimp pasta, a nod to O’Brien’s favorite food.