Greg Chapman tried on his new EnChroma glasses, and suddenly the world became a different place.
Nothing was quite as it seemed before, the world was brighter, his life was suddenly brighter. He stared at things and just couldn’t believe the colours he was seeing, he was in absolute awe of the beauty of everything.
“The crab apple tree turns red every year and I know this, but actually being able to see the pink and purple hues took my breath away,” said Chapman
The 47-year-old St. Charles East High School art teacher was devastated to find out he was colorblind seven years ago — and so were his students.
“I was like, ‘I’ve had this for 40 years and nobody has ever told me?'” Chapman said. “The more I thought about it, there were weird instances where I didn’t connect with a student or someone else on a colour, but just shook it off and didn’t really think much of it.”
Former student Jessie Schramm commented on how excquisite one of his paintings was a year ago on Facebook, she, too, couldn’t believe he wasn’t able to see it the way she could.
“I can’t imagine how it looks to you,” Chapman responded to Schramm on Facebook. “I’m in love with it and can’t even see all of the spectrum. My eyes are red green color deficient. I see reds and greens, but not all of their ranges.”
Chapman uses Facebook as a platform to share his pieces of art with friends and often former students. Schramm is one of them. The 25-year-old, who graduated from high school in 2008 and now works as a media distributor in the Chicago area, loves all of his paintings, and he even sent her one she particularly loved.
About two months ago, Schramm came across a YouTube video of a man trying out EnChroma glasses, which are made to enhance color vision for those who are colorblind, and immediately thought of her beloved art teacher.
“I didn’t ask him if he wanted them, I just got them,” Schramm said. “He’s an art teacher who can’t see all the colors of the rainbow; that’s just not OK.”
She created a GoFundMe on 2nd March 2016 and within a week she had raised enough money to buy the glasses thanks to the generosity of many of his current and former students. While the gift was supposed to be a surprise, Chapman discovered the GoFundMe on Facebook and was absolutely blown away.
‘The world is even more beautiful than I thought it was,’ Chapman said