Legally known as Jimmy Donaldson, the YouTube sensation MrBeast announced in a video released on January 28th that he will be giving people the gift of sight. “We’re curing a thousand people’s blindness,” he proclaimed, before starting to showcase the marathon of surgeries that was about to be performed.
Working with Jeff Levenson, an ophthalmologist, and surgeon based in Jacksonville, FL, Donaldson presented the first round of 40 free surgeries under the “Gift of Sight” foundation, where Levenson is a coordinator. When reached about the generosity, Levenson didn’t know who MrBeast was, but upon a quick study decided to work with him.
Contacting local homeless shelters and free clinics to get a client list, they started making phone calls and quickly amassed a list of 40. Levenson explained that the patients were in complete “disbelief that somebody would actually seek them out to rescue them from blindness, and then have the kindness and generosity of spirit to offer the surgery.”
Levenson also connected Donaldson’s team with “See International” where Levenson serves as the chief medical officer. This opened the globe to Donaldson, who promptly started helping people anywhere he could. Getting the total to 1,000 in three weeks, patients in Jamaica, Honduras, Namibia, Mexico, Indonesia, Brazil, Vietnam, and Kenya all started seeing better.
For Levenson, this is a personal mission.
“In the days and weeks after my own cataract surgery, I was stunned by how bright and beautiful, and vivid the world was. 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.”
Being able to share that same stunning sight is a great feeling, and for Donaldson to reach out like that is a great example of being a good human. Something we need more of, and thanks to MrBeast and his numerous examples of what right looks like, it could start to become more common.