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The girlfriend of a man who lost both his eyes to cancer has taken to TikTok to answer the questions she always gets asked about dating him. You can watch two of her videos about their relationship below:
Niya Esperanza, 23 has been in a relationship with Jake Olson, 24 for three years after meeting at The University of Southern California.
She jokes the only reason they started dating was because Niya loved his guide dog, Quebec.
When Jake was eight years old, doctors diagnosed him with retinoblastoma, which is a rare type of eye cancer that affects children. He had cancerous tumours in both eyes.
Before the age of one, Jake lost his left eye, and for the next twelve years, he battled the disease. After suffering from cancer eight times, he lost his other eye, aged 12.
In spite his health struggles, Jake achieved his dream of playing college American football at his boyhood club USC Trojans, helping the team to victory in his 2017 debut.
Speaking to LADbible about dating Jake, Niya said: "I feel like the most common questions I get, is 'wow that must be so hard? And 'how do you do that?'
"It's very similar to a normal relationship. He is very chilled and a lot of people that meet him don't realise he's blind because he could see until he was 12.
"A lot of his mannerisms are very typical of what you would expect someone to do."
Niya added: "One of my favourite things about dating Jake is that it makes me more confident in myself. I have to speak highly of how I look.
"I have to say I look good because a lot of the time, that's what he bases his thoughts on. If I let my insecurities talk then Jake would think of me in that way, but when I say 'I look good' or something, he believes me.
"I don't know if that makes sense but it has made me way more comfortable with myself and has helped me stop thinking negatively about myself."
She says Jake is very hands on with the TikTok videos and said: "Jake is very supportive and most of the funny videos I make are his idea. He's the funny one, I just make the content."
On Jake's website, he wrote: "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 is now a motivational speaker, a qualified personal trainer and a director at a non-profit gym for people with disabilities.
Meanwhile, TikTok users have loved hearing about Jake and Niya's love story, with one of Niya's videos attracting seven million views.
Featured Image Credit: Instagram/niyaesperanza
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