Since YouTuber and social media personality Mr Beast posted a video of himself “curing” people of blindness he has faced backlash from people who believe he exploited the blind people for views.
But now, one of those people who had his vision corrected is coming forward to defend the YouTuber.
64-year-old Jeffrey Yaple had his vision fixed with the life-changing cataract surgery thanks to Mr. Beast, whose real name is Jimmy Donaldson.
“Some people seem to think I was exploited, but I'm just grateful for the experience,” Yaple told Insider.
Yaple, who is from Jacksonville, Florida, revealed that Donaldson’s generous donation has changed his life. He told Insider, he had been living with cataracts for two years because he was unable to afford the procedure with no medical insurance.
Sign up for our free Indy100 weekly newsletter
But now, he can drive a car, watch TV, and even read the time - all thanks to Donaldson.
And while Donaldson, 24, is known for creating clickable viral videos, Yaple does not feel used.
“I personally don't think he was doing this for publicity. Everything he does is going to generate publicity because he's so famous, but I'm pretty sure this was from the heart,” Yaple said.
1,000 Blind People See For The First Timewww.youtube.com
As part of his video, posted in January, Donaldson donated $100,000 to the optical surgery and said he plans to help more people around the world fix cataracts.
Cataracts are the leading cause of reversible blindness in the world, and Donaldson is determined to advocate for those who cannot access the surgery.
For that, Yaple feels Donaldson's intentions were pure.
"His video didn't make fun of anyone and he didn't exploit me," Yaple said, "He was nice enough to pay for my surgery, and the way he helped all of us has actually inspired me to do more to help others in need, like people who are homeless and who ask me for help."
Have your say in our news democracy. Click the upvote icon at the top of the page to help raise this article through the indy100 rankings.