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YouTube Sensation MrBeast Sponsors Cataract Surgery for 1,000 Blind Individuals

Online megastar shines his powerful spotlight (130 million subscribers strong) on the travesty that is worldwide preventable blindness.




Jimmy Donaldson, a.k.a. MrBeast, is the unofficial king of YouTube.

He runs the fourth-most subscribed channel of all time. He just eclipsed PewDiePie as the most subscribed individual on the site. His videos garner millions of views within a matter of hours.

Donaldson built such a stout following in just over a decade by specializing in doing crazy things and uploading his antics onto the platform. Without a doubt, he is a master content creator.

However, his latest video showcases another aspect of the online superstar: philanthropist.

The video entitled “1,000 Blind People See For The First Time” was posted January 29th on YouTube. It already has breezed past the 60 million views mark. It is easy to see why.


It is brilliant.

True to the title, the social media sensation’s latest stunt involved paying for the cataract surgeries to help 1,000 people recover their vision. He captures before and after footage of the procedures. The joy on display is palpable when patients open their eyes to a whole new world of sight.

The YouTuber also is shown handing out $10,000 prizes to a few of the participants. A college student is presented a check for $50,000. And a high schooler is given keys to a new Tesla.

But the focus of the video was the eye surgery for people who couldn’t pay for it themselves.

Donaldson enlisted the help of Dr. Jeff Levenson M.D. of Levenson Eye Associates for the initial round of surgeries. They took place in Jacksonville, Florida where Dr. Levenson has helped coordinate the Gift of Sight program for 20 years.

In an interview with CNN, Dr. Levenson talked about his charity work to battle preventable blindness.

“In the days and weeks after my own cataract surgery, I was stunned by how bright and beautiful and vivid the world was,” he said. “But I was shocked by the idea that there are hundreds of millions, probably 200 million people around the world, who are blind or nearly blind from cataracts and who don’t have access to the surgery.”

Levenson went on the explain that he nearly ignored the call he received in September from Donaldson’s team.

 “I had never heard of MrBeast,” he said to CNN. “So I almost hung up. But I gratefully did not hang up.”


Donaldson didn’t limit his outreach to the U.S. He took his show around the globe, making stops in a handful of countries including Kenya, Honduras, Indonesia, Brazil, Vietnam, and Mexico. For the international surgeries, Donaldson reportedly enlisted the services of SEE International.

Reaction to the video has been mostly positive. There have been a few commenters who’ve questioned the spectacle aspect of the entire affair. (For some, apparently, no good deed goes unpunished.)

However, no one can deny that it is an unquestioningly good thing to provide 1,000 individuals with the gift of sight.


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