The last thing I saw was a flash of light.
I lost sight in my left eye before the age of one. For the next twelve years, I battled cancer in my right eye 8 times. Seven times I beat it. When it came back for the eighth time, there was nothing I could do. I was going to go blind. It was a sad feeling knowing that I had fought so hard for so long only to see the cancer win in the end. I knew I was going to have to re-learn how to do basic things that were once so easy. Putting toothpaste on my toothbrush, food on my fork, or walking around my house would all require significantly more effort. I viewed going blind as my biggest setback, but it ended up being my biggest set up.
Jake’s a huge story and he’s one for all of us about courage and character and grit and vision and special qualities that few people would be able to hold on to.
- Coach Carroll
Shortly before I went blind, Pete Carroll, head coach of the USC Trojans, heard about my story and invited me up to a practice. I was thrilled to get to go behind the scenes with my favorite team. I had no idea that Coach Carroll intended to make me a part of the Trojan family, and that watching this practice was only the beginning of a relationship that would change my life forever. Being around Coach Carroll helped remind me that nothing was impossible if you were always willing to compete and work for it. After I went blind, I became more determined than ever to not let blindness stop me from living the life I wanted to live.
I grew restless watching my high school football team play, and I knew I had to find a way back on to the field. I discovered the position of long snapping, and I worked at it until I was good enough to start for my high school team, and eventually become the first blind college player ever when I snapped in USC’s game against Western Michigan on September 2nd, 2017. I am also very passionate about helping others, and established my foundation, Out of Sight Faith, to provide technology to blind schoolchildren. You can donate by clicking here and selecting Jake’s Out of Sight Faith Foundation. Thank you for visiting my site.