Blind football player inspires kids at Kosair Children's Hospita - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Blind football player inspires kids at Kosair Children's Hospital

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Jake Olson was a kid who loved football.

He played growing up and was always in the crowd at University of Southern California games with the family, even when the reality of a cancer diagnosis got in the way. 

"I loved playing football before I went blind," he said.

Olson struggled with the disease as a kid and lost all of his eyesight when he was only 12. He's grown up now. 

"I'm about 6' 4," 225," he said.

But through the long hospital stays, and what could've been defeating circumstances, his love for football always remained. 

"I didn't want blindness to prevent me from playing in the future," Olson said.

It didn't. Today, he's a long-snapper for that team he loved so much growing up.

"It's a dream come true, you know, being at SC," he said.

His story was shared on ESPN and several other news organizations, and on Tuesday at Kosair Children's Hospital, it was shared with Louisville kids who are in a spot he's all too familiar with.

"You know, when I was in the hospital as a kid, any of form of visitors or action was just special," Olson said.

With his mom by his side, Olsen took pictures, tossed around the pigskin, and talked a lot of game. His purpose for being in Louisville was a lesson he learned in a hospital bed, like so many of these boy and girls.

"You can go through these diverse times and overcome it and not let it set limitations for your future," Olson said.

A tough kid turned rugged athlete, he was never willing to turn away from a challenge ... on or off the field.

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