Atlanta, GA - Local college student and self-described social activist, Jeremy Martin, was cast into the national spotlight this week after his campaign to “raise awareness” for a man he saw choking in the library went viral on the internet.
"I never thought I could really make a difference," commented Martin, "but you would be surprised at what you can accomplish when you truly care about something."
Martin was in the middle of a late night cram session when he heard a gasping, cough-like noise across the room. He looked up and saw an elderly individual, clasping his neck with both palms, desperately trying to dislodge what Martin could only assume to be some of the peanuts he was earlier eating. The young college student panicked.
"I remembered thinking - someone has got to help him. And then I realized, I was the only person left in the entire library."
Martin quickly opened up his laptop and went to facebook.com, where he started the page, "Help! Some dude is choking!" With a few photos snapped on his cellular phone, Martin began the tireless work of spreading word of the man who was now laying beside him on the floor. The college freshmen quickly invited all of his friends to "like" the page with an encouragement for them to, in turn, share it with their friends. Martin never dreamed that within a few short hours, his campaign would become a full-fledged movement.
“As I got ready to leave that night, I crouched down beside [the guy] to let him know that help would come, slowly but surely. The blank expression in his eyes was the only thanks I needed."
The next day, Martin was shocked to find out that his message had spread like wildfire. The page now had over 7 million followers and had spawned off several other movements - including an attempt to further raise awareness by having thousands of people change their profile pictures to popular 90's cartoon characters.
"Everytime I see a picture of Doug Funnie or Johnny Bravo, I just know that someone else out there cares," commented Martin, tears in his eyes.
Across the nation, the devastating story of the nameless choking man has captured the hearts and minds of thousands, from high school students all the way to Washington.
“The scary thing is that this is all happening here... at home,” commented Congressmen Robert Smith, “it’s not out it Egypt like that Kona guy.”
Although the government is currently failing to fix the problem for everyone, activists across the nation are determined to keep the movement alive - rumors are even circulating about an effort to have everyone wear a purple shirt or something... you know, for awareness. The road ahead may be rough, but people like Jeremy Martin are ready and willing to click as many buttons as it takes to make a difference.