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Minnesota family pays it forward after donations helped their son see color for the first time

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A Minnesota family is paying it forward after donations helped their son see color for the first time.

“I took a red and a green whiteboard marker and drew on the board and I could actually tell a difference in the colors which I couldn’t tell before,” Jonathan Jones said.

Last month, WCCO showed you a video of a 12-year-old Cottonwood boy seeing color for the first time. The video and reaction of Jonathan Jones putting on color correction glasses went viral.

A GoFundMe page to help get new glasses received thousands of dollars in donations. That’s when Jonathan Jones and his family knew they wanted others to see what he was seeing.

“One in 12 boys is colorblind and one in 200 girls are colorblind,” Jonathan’s mom, Carole Jones said.

With the help of people like Lakeview Principal Scott Hanson, who is also colorblind, they use donation money to get color correction glasses for other boys. Enchroma, the company that makes the glasses, matched each pair they bought with a free one.

“Now I look back, when I was in 4th grade I got kicked out of a coloring contest because I colored the Minnesota Vikings helmet navy blue,” Hanson said.

One by one the boys took turns trying on the glasses. The color dullness they had always known faded and the blues, reds, greens and yellows shined through like never before.

“It changed, just everything looks different,” Tate Remiger said. “I just like to see what everybody else sees.”

Until now 9-year-old Braeden Karels never really saw red and orange. He had no idea what he was missing.

“Amazing and it’s also a really big experience for me to see the actual colors to things,” Braeden Karels said. “It’s just really nice to see that other people can see that too.”

“I lost it, I was an emotional mess,” Braeden’s mom, Stacey Karels explained. “When he put those glasses on for the first time and his mouth just dropped it’s like a whole new world.”

One that isn’t just about adding color, but context.

“With something like this it’s going to make the world so much easier for him,” added Stacey Karels.

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