Shoe design shows girl's fight for survival

Shoe design shows girl's fight for survival »Play Video
Bella Stone's Doernbecher Freestyle Nike shoe design

SUTHERLIN, Ore. - Izabella Stone has been through more than most 9-year-old girls.

Her story starts like any other.

"We were really excited about having a girl," her mother Jessica said.
    
That joy quickly turned to fear when doctors told Izabella's parents something was terribly wrong.

"They gave us an option - continue on til I went in to labor or have her at 30 weeks," Jessica said, "but she wouldn't survive."

Jessica and Shane decided to carry Bella to full term.

"They weren't going to do anything heroic either," Shane said. "They knew the symptoms, they were confident the symptoms were going to take her out, and they didn't have any problem telling us that."

Minutes went by after Bella was born. Nothing.

Finally, the little girl made her first, tiny sound.

"She was fighting for breath and fighting to hold on for like like 7 times they brought her back," Jessica said. "She just kept fighting and kept fighting."

It was the first victory on journey that would test Bella, her family and their faith.

Doctors in Eugene told the Stones that Bella was missing many of her vital organs. How many, they weren't for sure.

Their daughter's only hope of survivial was at Doernbecher Children's Hospital in Portland. Doctors there performed an experimental surgery.

"He came out just paled faced and said I saw something that I've never seen in all my years," Shane said. "He said it was as organs started to appear before my very eyes."

The diagnosis was better than originally thought. Bella still did not have kidneys, a rectum or a bladder.

After two months in the hospital, 20 grueling surgeries and a donated kidney from her aunt, Bella is now an outgoing, talented and lively 4th grader at West Intermediate School in Sutherlin.

This year, Bella and six others were chosen to be a part of the Doernbecher Freestyle collection from Nike.

It's a way to share her life experiences through a shoe that Bella designed herself.

"It was awesome because I've never done anything like this before," Bella said. "And it was awesome, I loved it, it was so much fun."

Now with the title of designer under her belt, Bella keeps defying the odds and teaching others the true meaning of strength.

"It has definitely made me stronger, have a better faith," her brother Brandon said. "I don't know how to explain this but he literally brought someone who was dead and brought them back to life."
     
Every year the Stone's have a kidney birthday party to celebrate the organ Bella's aunt donated to her.

The 7 different designs go on sale online and at Nike stores around the country later this month.

All proceeds go to benefit Doernbecher's Children Hospital.

It's the 10th year Doernbecher's and Nike have partnered for the program that so far has raised $8 million for the hospital.