The Success Kid meme now has a real life success —- helping raise $75,000 to get his dad a new kidney.
When he was just a toddler, Sammy Griner was photographed clutching a handful of sand. The picture made it look as if the youngster was pumping his fist in success, and three years after his mom uploaded the picture, the internet popular meme known as Success Kid was born.
But this week, Griner took the the internet for a real-life plea, asking for help for his sick father. Justin Griner, 39, is in need of a kindney and in failing health. The family of the Success Kid meme decided to take their kidney plea public, starting a Crowdfund account with the hopes of raising $75,000.
The need is dire, the site noted:
“Justin is a 39 year old father of one in need of a kidney transplant. Please help us reach our goal so that Justin may get the pre-treatments and transplant he desperately needs. His mother died from this disease, please help us write a different story for Justin and his son, Sam.”
So far, it’s been a resounding success. The fundraiser had about $10,000 in the first five days, but that changed quickly when the Success Kid’s appeal for a new kidney for his father went public. In just a few hours, it raised $30,000 more, bringing the total to nearly $50,000. With donations coming in at a rate of several thousands of dollars per hour, the Success Kid meme should have a new kidney for his father within a day.
Laney Griner, the mom of Success Kid and wife to Justin, said she is thrilled at the amazing reception they’ve gotten.
“We are just floored by the reaction,” she told BuzzFeed News. “I know Success Kid is a popular meme, but around here he’s just our 8-year-old son, Sam. It’s amazing seeing what broad, worldwide appeal his image has, even so many years later.”
Even if the Success Kid’s kidney fundraiser reaches its goal, the family still has work to do. As Laney Griner told Daily Dot, the family is still searching for a donor, and in the meantime Justin is forced to spend 12 hours a week in dialysis clinic.
“We’ve had several friends and family offer and get tested to be donors, but no match so far,” she said. “We certainly prefer a living donor because the prognosis seems to be much better.”
Those who want to check out the Success Kid meme’s kidney fundraiser can click here.
[Image via Laney Griner]