Jake suffers from bilateral retinoblastoma, or cancer of the retinas. He has endured months of chemo, must undergo invasive exams once a month, and travels to Miami for laser treatments weekly. Although Jake is blind in one eye and only has peripheral vision in the other, he has a love of all sports and participates in as many as possible.
Jake wanted to meet and attend a Tampa Bay Buccaneers practice session with Coach Jon Gruden. Named honorary head coach, Jake watched an entire practice from the sidelines and blew the air horn to signal the end of the workout. As the players left the field, many of them came over to talk to Jake and give him their autograph including Mike Alstott and Warren Sapp. Soon it was time to meet Coach Gruden, who came bearing gifts including the autographed air horn Jake had already used to end practice. The two spoke for a while and Jake presented Gruden with a signed drawing he made himself and his own autographed football. To top off his perfect day, the Bucs presented their newest ‘coach’ with tickets on the 50-yardline to Sunday’s game. “As soon as he got in the car after the game he said ‘This is the best thing that ever happened in my whole life,’” said Jake’s mom.