jake olson a young man loses his

Jake Olson – A Young Man Loses His Sight, But Finds His Way

When he was 9 years old, cancer forced the removal of Jake Olson’s left eye. After that, he overcame the return of cancer eight times…but the ninth time proved too much and his right eye also had to be removed.

But Jake’s courage and optimism in the face of potential blindness has always been extraordinary. He always loved football. When he young and going through surgeries, Jake was taken in by the USC college football team. He went to many games and practices which was a dream come true.

But Jake had more dreams to pursue. Later on, he decided to try out for his high school team and he made it! And then he became a starter! After he graduated high school with honors, he dreamed of going to his favorite college, USC. He was selected to go to USC and then decided to go out for their football team! And he made the USC Trojans football team!  The Trojans slogan is  and Jake is certainly an example of this spirit to the world.

Please take a few minutes to watch Jake’s amazing story in the videos that follow. He is an amazing inspiration to us all and a great example of how courage and optimism can change the world.

(Note: IMK first wrote about Jake in 2013.  This article has been updated with his amazing progress. And we hope to keep updating it regularly with Jake’s progress over his lifetime).

Additional Resources:

Topics for Discussion:

  • How would it feel to lose your sight after being able to see?
  • What qualities did Jake show in facing his ensuing blindness with such a positive attitude?

Take Action:

  • Visit the Retinoblastoma website to learn more about the disease that so radically altered Jake’s life.
  • Check out the Kids Fight Cancer website to learn more about how you can help fight cancer!

Teacher Features:

  • Here is a link to a Critical Reading Skills worksheet that you can use for elementary school students.
  • Here is a link to a Critical Reading Skills worksheet that you can use for middle school students.


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