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Philanthropist YouTuber 'Mr. Beast' funds simple, surgical cure for 1,000 blind people
Photo by Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images for MrBeast Burger

Philanthropist YouTuber 'Mr. Beast' funds simple, surgical cure for 1,000 blind people

YouTube philanthropist Jimmy "Mr. Beast" Donaldson funded 1,000 ten-minute surgeries that restored recipients' vision, a noble effort that tugged at millions of viewers' heartstrings.

"Not only are we helping people in America, but we're also going to other places around the world," Donaldson says in the wildly popular eight-minute video documentary.

"I wanted to provide this [surgery] to as many people as possible," he adds.

In just two days, the video amassed more than 61 million views on Mr. Beast's eponymously titled YouTube channel. The 11-year-old channel has about 131 million subscribers.

1,000 Blind People See For The First Timeyoutu.be

Who is Mr. Beast?

Jimmy Donaldson, a 24-year-old North Carolina native, ranks among the most-viewed and highest-paid YouTube creators, Business Insider reported.

The standout showman began posting on YouTube when he was 13, and his mother kicked him out of his childhood home at 18, the outlet also says.

Fast-forward to 2023, and Mr. Beast's videos, stunts, and lavishly generous giveaways are a staple on YouTube's mammoth platform.

How did it work?

Donaldson worked with an organization called See International to make the surgeries happen. See International's network of volunteer doctors worked with Mr. Beast as they do other humanitarian leaders who are dedicated to eradicating preventable blindness.

The surgery the doctors performed is called manual small incision cataract surgery. The MSICS procedure "vacuums" off cataracts that are clouding a patient's vision; artificial lenses are implanted in place of the clouded ones; and if successful, the patient's vision is restored.

"Half the blindness in the world is people who need a 10-minute surgery," one of the participating surgeons says in the video.

How did recipients respond?

The video features several patients as their bandages are removed and they at last see clearly. Smiles, laughter, happy tears, and expressions of gratitude permeate the video.

In quintessential Mr. Beast fashion, the gift of vision was only the beginning. Donaldson gave one young man $50,000 to help with college. Another young man, who said he said he had always wanted to drive, but his vision challenges prevented it, received a brand-new Tesla. Other grateful recipients received $10,000.

Is there more?

As is the case with many folks who attempt to do good in the world, Mr. Beast's video also has its detractors. Some internet denizens called the deed a "stunt" designed to bolster his subscriber numbers and viewership stats, Time reported.
Others leveraged the popularity of the video to decry the inadequacy of health care systems they say necessitate acts like Donaldson's.

Donaldson encourages viewers to consider donating to See International, a nonprofit organization, to "become part of a movement that can end preventable blindness."

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