Jake Olson lost his eyesight to cancer 12 years ago. However, his physical set back didn’t stop him from playing collegiate football with the USC Trojans. But Olson has always dreamed of a world where retinoblastoma (the disease that took his eyesight) would not affect anyone. Well, today Olson made strides towards his dream.
Reported by ESPN, Olson will participate in the bench press portion of USC’s pro day to fundraise money towards retinoblastoma research.
ForThe Win reports that “Olson was hoping to raise money for research on a new procedure that could have saved his eyesight had it existed a decade ago. The procedure’s development can potentially save other retinoblastoma patients from losing their eyes.” Donors can give money for every bench rep he does or they can donate a flat amount. The proceeds will be spilt between Uplifting Athletes, a nonprofit organization created to inspire the rare disease community and retinoblastoma research
During a packed USC pro day, all eyes were on Olson and he did not disappoint. The long snapper put up 17 reps with his teammates cheering him on.
17 reps at 225 pounds on the bench press is extremely challenging with your eyesight. However, Olson defied the odds once again and showed that his physical disability was only a small set back.
In speaking with ESPN Olson spoke upon his help. “It gives me chills right now, just kind of like thinking I could come back 10 years later and help aide the treatment that took my eyesight,” Olson said. “It gave me goosebumps when I first heard about it because I’m just like, ‘Wow, we’re at this pivotal moment right now.’”
Olson is truly an inspiration for any athlete today.