Sammy Griner gained fame as a toddler, when a meme of him clenching his fist in what looks like a sign of victory went viral. He is now eight years old, and is hoping that his fame will help his family find someone to donate a kidney to his father Justin - and help the family raise enough money for treatment.
His mother, Laney, has set up a GoFundMe page, asking for financial donations and for people to consider becoming a kidney donor. She says: "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." She also includes a link to the forms for people to complete in order to find out if they are a match.
There is no mention of Success Kid on the page, but The Daily Dot discovered Sam was the same boy whose photo had been uploaded to the internet in 2007 and is now a regular fixture on any expression of unexpected success online.
Laney said in an email to the website: "We're the parents of 'Success Kid' for goodness sake. If anyone understands the power, the mass, and goodwill of the Internet, it's those of us lucky enough to experience it daily."
Her faith in the goodwill of the internet seems well placed. So far the page has raised $80,243 - beating the family's original target of $75,000 - with many of those donating to the page more recently expressing their desire to build a surplus for a family going through a difficult time.
Many of those commenting on the page also say they have completed the donation forms. Some have done it because of a close family member who went through something similar, others because the meme has brought them so many laughs though the years, and others because they cannot afford to donate, and want to do something to help the family.
Laney told Buzzfeed: "We are just floored by the reaction. 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." She added that her son was slightly embarrassed to be such a popular meme, but would be delighted if could help his dad recover.
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