The internet is a twist of fate. You never know if logging on for the day would guide you down a situation often hard to escape from or if you’d come across something that makes you wish the internet never existed. But generally, the enormity of the internet-connected people in the best possible way, leading to remarkably positive outcomes that might have or else never took place.
Jimmy Choi was a 37 years old man who took part in four seasons of American Ninja Warrior. He completed over 100 half marathons and 16 full marathons and achieved innumerable other fitness-related winnings. Unfortunately, Jimmy Choi suffers from Parkinson’s, a diagnosis which he received at just 27 years old.
Choi was a motivation to those who were affected by chronic health issues, showing that a diagnosis doesn’t mean you have to stop doing what you love. Choi was also very expressive about the difficulties that come with Parkinson’s, increasing awareness and showing others in the same position that they weren’t alone. In a recent TikTok, Choi conveyed his exasperation about something that most of us would never consider- pill bottles.
The TikTok community watched the accomplished athlete hard try to pick his essential (and absurdly tiny) medication, a feat which proved extremely difficult for a person with the very disease the medication aims to help.
Immediately, word spread about Choi’s unintended call to arms- before long, a designer named Brian Alldridge came up with an amazing solution to the small problem. Unfortunately, he didn’t own a 3D printer to create a prototype. Strong-willed to help, Alldridge made the design public so anyone with access to a 3D printer could use the design without paying any money.
David Exeler, a.k.a. “the Hungry Engineer,” picked up where Alldridge left off and converted the design into reality. The prototype was a success and Exeler was ready to deliver his product to anyone in need in exchange for a donation to Michael J. Fox Foundation.
Choi in an interview said that it was truly amazing how the community jumped in. folks that not even had any connection to Parkinson shared their idea and if someone had a follow-up to it, they were ready to give their contribution as well.
Alldridge was working on finding a manufacturer to mass-produce his design but at the same time, he also made sure that all proceeds go to non-profits. He worked with an attorney to ensure his design remains open-source, meaning that anyone able and willing to use or improve upon his design was welcome to do so.
Choi further told that there was a lot of negativity out there, especially in the last several months. But people need to acknowledge the positive side that social media could be used for good things and for things that were helping and making an impression. Not just on one person, two people there were thousands of people that this will have an impact on.