Unless you've been avoiding the Internet for the past seven years, you probably recognize "Success Kid" -- the immensely popular meme of baby Sammy Griner, proudly clenching his fist and making a victorious face. Today, Sammy is 8 years old, and his dad Justin needs a kidney transplant.
In 2006, Justin Griner was diagnosed with kidney disease, which led to kidney failure in 2009, his wife Laney told The Daily Dot. For the past six years, "Success Dad" has been on dialysis and is in desperate need of a new kidney. "One can only survive with no natural kidney function and using article kidney filtering for so long," Laney added. "The only way to save his life is to get a transplant."
Laney created a GoFundMe campaign last week to raise money for Justin's treatments and surgery costs and to find a kidney donor. While the Florida mom initially didn't want to bring up her son's viral fame in the campaign, she told Buzzfeed she changed her mind when she realized “what a positive boost it could bring to our fundraising efforts for people to know this is for the father of the baby who has made so many people smile.”
Sammy's Internet fame is proving to be quite powerful. In less than one week, the GoFundMe campaign has already raised over $30,000. Looking back on the meme's rise to ubiquity, Laney told ABC News, "It never stops being weird, and it never stops being awesome."
At this time, Sammy's dad Justin is a patient at Mayo Clinic's campus in Florida. He's not yet on the transplant list for a deceased donor, but the Griners are hoping to find a living donor through their campaign, ABC News reports. Sammy is especially hopeful. "His dad is his hero," Laney told Buzzfeed, adding, "He’d happily do anything to help him get better.”
To donate money or sign up for kidney donor match testing, visit Justin Griner's GoFundMe page.
H/T ABC News