An open letter asking the CEO of Nike to create shoes that are better suited for people with disabilities is going viral.
Matthew Walzer, a 16-year-old from Parkland, Fla. with cerebral palsy, took to the Internet earlier this week to ask Nike CEO Mark Parker to consider creating a line of shoes that are self-lacing.
“Out of all the challenges I have overcome in my life, there is one that I am still trying to master, tying my shoes,” Walzer wrote. “Cerebral palsy stiffens the muscles in the body. As a result I have flexibility in only one of my hands which makes it impossible for me to tie my shoes.”
Walzer said that because of the support he needs, Nike athletic shoes are the only type of footwear he’s ever worn. Unfortunately, that means he’s unable to fully dress on his own.
“My dream is to go to the college of my choice without having to worry about someone coming to tie my shoes everyday,” Walzer wrote, adding that he’s not the only one facing this challenge. “I hope that… Nike will consider being the forerunner in producing athletic shoes that will make the difference in the quality of so many lives.”
Now, Walzer’s letter is gaining traction, spreading on Twitter under the hashtag #NikeLetter.
The shoe blog Nice Kicks took notice of the effort and posted a video about Walzer’s letter, which has garnered over 10,000 views – you can check it out below. And, the blog has committed to send postcards to Nike with a link to the letter for every Twitter mention of the video.
Nike representatives did not immediately respond Friday to a request for comment about Walzer’s request.