Local man designs cleats for NFL starJan 04, 2021 09:53AM ● By Becky Ginos
LAYTON—When 28-year-old Nate Henrie experienced a horrible headache and lost his vision in one eye, he thought it was a migraine. But after being treated for a migraine and his sight didn’t return, his doctor ordered an MRI and determined that he had Multiple Sclerosis (MS).
“It was like the wind was knocked out of me,” Henrie said. “It was shocking. I was imagining being in a wheelchair and not able to speak. I was kind of terrified about what my future would be like.”
That was in 2016. “There are good medications out now,” he said. “It made me hopeful. Medications literally changed my life. The last two years I’ve had no symptoms or lesions on the brain. I”m kind of in remission but MS can turn on you in a matter of seconds or days.”
Recently, Henrie had the opportunity to bring attention to MS when he was selected to participate in the NFL’s “My Cause My Cleats” initiative with Las Vegas Raiders linebacker Cory Littleton where players can champion causes they’re passionate about.
“I got this random phone call from my IHC doctor asking me if it would be OK if he gave my information to the Raiders,” said Henrie. “He sent it off and I got a call from their marketing manager.”
After being selected, Henrie got the chance to work with Littleton to design a cleat he would wear during one of his games.
“Every year players pick a cleat to auction off to charity.” said Henrie. “His (Littleton) was the MS Foundation. I met with Cory on Zoom and he told me to do anything I want – so I went to town on it.”
Henrie designed a bright orange cleat. “Orange is the color for MS of America and it’s my favorite color,” he said. “Also, when he’s wearing it during the game you can’t miss it.”
Everything on the shoe has a meaning, said Henrie. “Two years ago my brother-in-law designed T-shirts that said ‘made to survive’ as a tribute to me and how I’m surviving and going forward. The hash tag #mswarrior stands for all those who are fighting courageously the silent disease. It’s a nod to all MS patients.”
On the back of the cleat is Littleton’s #42, he said. “Henrie is on the bottom as a tribute to the work we’ve done together on this. I went through a lot of rough drafts. I wanted it to be bright and colorful enough to be seen on TV and when he gets tackled you could see ‘made to survive.’”
Henrie enjoyed the experience and hopes it will benefit others with MS. “I’ve tried to promote awareness,” he said. “I want to help them along their journey and let them know how much love and support is out there.”