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Texas 5th graders combine allowances, donations to help classmate see in color: “My friends are true”

<i>KTVT</i><br/>5th grader Jaron Casillas puts on colorblind glasses for the first time.
5th grader Jaron Casillas puts on colorblind glasses for the first time.

By Nicole Nielsen

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    COLLEYVILLE, Texas (KTVT) — Life is meant to be lived, in color.

So when a group of fifth grade students found out that wasn’t exactly the case for one of their colorblind classmates, they took action.

“They’ve been keeping a secret, which is huge,” Christina Hayes, a teacher at Glenhope Elementary School in Colleyville, said. “For 10 and 11 year olds, keeping a secret is a really big deal.”

It wasn’t long ago that Hayes had her students discuss their favorite colors during class, when they realized Jaron Casillas didn’t have one. Or, more specifically, couldn’t see them.

“It’s pretty much all colors,” Jaron said when asked about what colors challenged him.

His mom, Lindsay Casillas, remembers the day she found out her son was colorblind. “I heard him say, ‘Mommy, look at what a beautiful green sunrise!'”

Jaron has trouble with a lot of shades, tints and combinations.

For greens, purples and blues, he sees as gray.

Trees are yellow, and the colorful classroom and world around him has been different until his classmates decided to take matters into their own hands, collecting their allowances and donations to buy Jaron special glasses.

And not just one pair, but two—for indoors and outdoors.

“I was just like, ‘Is this what everyone else was seeing this whole time?’ It just makes me feel thankful because I didn’t know they would do this for me. I know my friends are true for doing this for me,” Jaron said.

His mom agrees.

“The hearts of these children in a time like this…it gives us all hope,” she said. “I think he sees what true friendship is, and caring people around him, and I hope he carries this with him and remembers this for a long time.”

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