(April 14, 2015) – This picture of a little boy with his fist clenched in victory is one of the internet’s longest-lasting memes, known as “Success Kid.”
Success Kid’s real name is Sammy Griner, and his family is trying to use his internet success to help raise money for his dad’s kidney surgery and treatment and to find a live donor.
According to The Daily Dot, Justin Griner was diagnosed with kidney disease in 2006, and he experienced full kidney failure in 2009.
Laney Griner, Justin’s wife and Sammy’s mother, created a GoFundMe campaign with a goal of $75,000 to help cover medical expenses associated with a kidney transplant.
Laney told The Daily Dot,
“His energy and mood are affected, he can no longer work, and he spends 12 hours a week in dialysis clinic. Having been on dialysis for this long greatly increases his risks of developing further complications. The only way to save his life is to get a transplant. There’s no other way around that.”
According to Laney, around 80% of the cost of dialysis and his transplant are covered by Medicare, but additional medicines that he has to take for the rest of his life aren’t covered.
By Tuesday evening, the family had raised just over $43,700 of their $75,000 goal, donated by over 2,000 people.
The GoFundMe page also has information about being tested for a kidney donor match for Justin. Laney says their family and friends have been tested, but no one has been a match yet.
Laney first posted the now-famous picture of Sammy on the beach in 2007 on Flickr when he was just 11-months-old. His picture spread to Myspace and then to Reddit. The image is still commonly used on the Internet today to express satisfaction with any unexpected outcome and has even been used on billboards and TV commercials.