Eight years ago, Sammy Griner held up a fistful of sand, his face victorious. His mom, Laney, was lucky enough to capture the moment. After posting the picture of her then 11-month-old son’s fist pump to Flickr, Laney was amazed to see how quickly it then spread to MySpace and Reddit, eventually becoming what’s now known as the “Success Kid” meme that continues to pop up on the Internet, on billboards and even in commercials.
Now, as Sammy’s father Justin struggles with kidney failure in which he spends 12 hours a week on dialysis and urgently needs a donor, the Success Kid’s popularity is reemerging as strangers from around the globe donate to his family’s GoFundMe campaign. Considering the good fortune the family has already had because of the Internet, they were willing to take a chance once again by making their family’s story public.
“We’re the parents of ‘Success Kid’ for goodness sake,” Laney told the Daily Dot in an email. “If anyone understands the power, the mass, and goodwill of the Internet, it’s those of us lucky to experience it daily.”
The campaign aims to raise $75,000 to cover additional medical expenses that will come with a kidney transplant despite Medicare covering 80 percent of the costs, according to Business Insider. The family estimates they’ll need $12,000 in the first year alone to cover ongoing medicine and anti-rejection drugs that Justin will need to take.
Though Laney told ABC News that she opted not to put the meme on the campaign page, she also acknowledges that without the meme, it’s unlikely they would have gotten the support they’ve received thus far, which currently stands at 1,450 people donors in six days. There have also been multiple inquiries posted on the campaign’s page from prospective donors, asking to be tested as a match for Justin.
Visit the Griner family’s GoFundMe page to learn how you can help.