Jasen Bracy always wanted to play football, but retinal cancer he developed as a toddler took his eyesight by the time he was age 7. How could he play a fast-paced contact sport like football if he couldn't see?
"No way," his father, Jasen Bracy Sr. thought. "How is this going to be possible for him to get out there and play?"
But young Bracy was determined. As soon as he got his own phone, he started calling around to youth football teams and talking to the coaches. Eventually, he connected with David Nichols, the coach of the Modesto Raiders. Nichols was impressed with Bracy's attitude.
"The way he was on the phone, I just said, 'Come on we'll figure it out,'" Nichols told CBS News.
After playing last year as a running back, Bracy is now the starting quarterback for the Raiders, throwing passes and running in touchdowns himself—all without being able to see the other players on the field.
"It's all memory," he told CBS. "It's all about having trust in the player, the receiver and the team. I have to trust them 100%."
Bracy's teammates guide him into position on the field and his dad coaches him from the sidelines using a walkie-talkie that transmits to his helmet. "After the play starts, I may tell him, 'Hey, run to your right, let's get upfield,' or 'Watch out, somebody's coming to hit you,'" Bracy Sr. said.
It seems to be working out well. Bracy led the Raiders to a 33-6 win just last weekend.
Bracy's perseverance and the support from his family and community offer a beautiful example of how limitations don't automatically have to hold someone back.
In fact, Bracy has his hopes up for a shot in the NFL. "We'll see how far this career can go," he said.
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