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YouTube star goes viral for sponsoring surgery of 1,000 blind patients around the world

By NICK GARCIA Published Jan 30, 2023 11:00 am

YouTube star MrBeast has been making the rounds online after paying for the cataract removal of some 1,000 individuals.

"We’re curing a thousand people’s blindness,” said MrBeast, or 24-year-old Jimmy Donaldson in real life, in his YouTube video titled "1,000 Blind People See For The First Time" published on Jan. 29.

The eight-minute video features heartwarming before-and-after clips of patients getting their eyesight back after surgery.

MrBeast also gave cash and in-kind donations to some of them.

Jeff Levenson, the ophthalmologist and surgeon who worked with MrBeast, told CNN International that he got a call from the YouTuber last September. The first round of surgeries began in Jacksonville in Florida.

From 40 patients, the list grew to 1,000 as Levenson connected MrBeast to non-profit organization SEE International, for which he's the chief medical officer.

“If MrBeast can light a fire, and if we can get governmental and private support behind it, we can end half of all the blindness in the world,” Levenson is quoted as saying.

“Without all that much cost, and with incredible gains in human productivity and human potential.”

To date, MrBeast's video has over 40 million views and 4.1 million likes, and is in the sixth spot on YouTube's trending list.

MrBeast is known for his videos revolving around expensive stunts, but has also turned to philanthropy.

He's the most subscribed individual on YouTube, with over 130 million subscribers to date. He overtook long-time No. 1 PewDiePie, who specializes in video games and comedic format shows.