‘Success Kid’ appeals to social media to get his dad a kidney transplant

Posted at 9:36 AM, Apr 15, 2015
and last updated 2015-04-15 09:36:19-04

(CNN) — “Success Kid” is likely the Internet’s most famous baby.

You’ve seen him in dozens of memes, fist clenched in a determined look of persevering despite the odds.

Success Kid — now an 8-year-old named Sammy Griner — needs a little bit of that mojo to rub off on his family. His dad, Justin, needs a kidney transplant.

About a week ago, Laney Griner, Justin’s wife and Sammy’s mother, created a GoFundMe campaign with a goal of $75,000 to help cover the medical expenses that go along with a kidney transplant.

The campaign is already a success. By Wednesday it had topped its goal.

Griner told The Daily Dot that her husband was diagnosed with kidney disease in 2006 and suffered complete kidney failure three years later.

“One can only survive with no natural kidney function … for so long,” Laney Griner said. “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,” she said.

The family doesn’t know when a kidney might become available. Their GoFundMe page has a link for potential donors.

Sammy’s Internet fame began in 2007 when his mom posted a picture of him on a beach with a fist full of sand and a satisfied look on his face. Myspace picked it up, so did Reddit.

The rest is Internet history. Success just seems to run in some families.