Jake Olson lost his sight to cancer at the age of 12. He made a promise to myself to live a normal life and continue to play baseball. His dream came true after 8 years old when he took to the field to play for your favorite team USC Trojans.
Jake. Photo: reignoftroy.com
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I learned that I will become blind
Diagnosed with “retinoblastoma” (cancer of the retina that usually occurs in infants and young children) Jake Olsen was set when he was only 8 months. The tumor invaded the entire left eye of the baby, and in 10 months the doctors had to amputate it.
All the boy grew up in the fight against cancer. The disease returned 8 times, but repeated courses of treatment and the absence of the left eye did not prevent him to get involved in sports and play baseball and Golf.
In 2009, when Jake was 12 years old, cancer struck again. The doctors informed the family of the boy that his right eye must be removed.
“October 1, I learned that I should become blind,” says Jake about that time.
“My surgery was scheduled for November 12, so I stayed almost 1,5 month till the day when I go blind. This thought tortured me.”
Jake told my parents before the operation, wants to watch his favorite baseball team, southern California University USC Trojans. His dream came out head coach Pete Carroll. He decided that the boy should become a part of the team: more than a month, Jake went to all their training and acquainted with the players.
Only in these moments, the boy did not think about what will soon become blind. “When I was on the field, these thoughts left me. It was a liberation,” recalls Jake this time.
The night before surgery, Jake, as usual, held at the team’s training and the last time looked at their new companions. In parting, Pete Carroll made the boy promise that after the operation he would return to them.
It was a rough morning
The players of the favorite team has not left the boy in the most difficult day of his life. On the day of surgery in the hospital under the guise of “uncle Chris” slipped Central player USC Trojans Chris O’dowd.
“The nurse came in and gave him fluids, and then Jake and his parents are very upset. I walked over, kissed him and said, “You’re the strongest guy I ever knew. Stay who you are, and you will succeed”,” – said Kris in an interview in 2009.
These words helped the boy to calm down and eased his pain. “It was a tough morning. Mom woke me up and we cried, it lasted all morning. But as soon as Chris walked in, I felt a little better.
I just didn’t want this day to come. I was not afraid to be blind rather scared me a feeling that this is the last hours, last minutes, when I can see” – said Jake in an interview after the surgery.
After only 6 days the boy kept his promise given to the coach of the USC Trojans, and a cane came to the training team. Despite the fact that he could no longer see Jake was still interested in baseball and came to practices and games of their favorite team. He had a dream that seemed impossible one day to go on the field with the team.
“After surgery, I came to a realization: “Well, I’m blind. It cannot be changed, this is my life now. No more need to worry about that I won’t see because I’m blind. Now let’s figure this out. Let’s focus on normal life.” I decided that I will not let illness stop me,” says Jake Olsen.
More than a game
Jake graduated from high school, and he had no doubt which College to choose – of course, the University of southern California. One day in his room, the phone rang and Jake was invited to the University team, whose fan he has been since early childhood.
Jake’s dream came true – he was part of the USC Trojans. But it was not enough for him to be in command, a young man dreamed of playing for her on the field.
In September 2017 realized the second dream Jake – he first entered the field in the team USC Trojans in the game against Western Michigan. For a coach Helton Gluing it was a tough decision. Before the game, he contacted the coach of the opposing team Tim Lester and asked if he would mind if the match will be attended blind longsnapper. Tim Lester was in full agreement.
“I don’t think it was a difficult decision. It’s more than a game, and I’m happy to be a part of it,” he explained.
Jake took to the field in the third quarter of the match. “I felt calm and peaceful. I understood that I have done it many times before, that I know what to do and what I can do. And at the same time I was nervous because I knew it was my moment. I have to be sure that they will do everything”.
After the game in which the team from southern California won with a score of 49:31, Jake became a real star. He is being interviewed, and the video recording of his games scored more than 200 thousand views. But his friend Daniel Hennes believes that behind the scenes there is many other good deeds of man. For example, he recorded a video message to people who are struggling with cancer.
“Honestly, I’ve seen him upset just once or twice,” says Daniel. “He spends a lot of time to think about what he has not. He thinks about what needs to be grateful, and that he has. It is impossible to live with him and not in the end become a more positive person.”
According to the materials of CNN, USA Today, ABC NEWS, SBNATION