The Real Boy from the 'Success Kid' Meme Needs Help Finding His Dad a New Kidney

The adorable tot is now eight years old and reaching out to the Internet for help.

The Real Boy from the 'Success Kid' Meme Needs Help Finding His Dad a New Kidney
Laney Griner

Sometimes it's hard to remember that Internet memes are actually real people with real lives. Like the adorable longtime viral meme known as Success Kid, who is actually a child named Sammy Griner, now eight years old.

Griner became an Internet favorite long before he had any idea what that meant, but now he's asking all of the people who shared and meme'd his photo for help. See, Sammy's father, Justin Griner, needs a kidney transplant, and the family is currently crowdfunding to pay for treatment and find a donor.

The Real Boy from the 'Success Kid' Meme Needs Help Finding His Dad a New Kidney
Laney Griner

According to Justin Griner's GoFundMe page, he "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."

Sammy's mom Laney was at first reluctant to include her son in the fundraising campaign, but as she told Buzzfeed News, “But then I thought 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."

In another interview with the Daily Dot, Laney explained the seriousness of her husband's condition. "One can only survive with no natural kidney function and using article kidney filtering for so long. 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."

The Real Boy from the 'Success Kid' Meme Needs Help Finding His Dad a New Kidney
Laney Griner

As of Tuesday morning, the Griners have raised $29,800 of their $75,000 goal. Head here if you would like to donate.

The Real Boy from the 'Success Kid' Meme Needs Help Finding His Dad a New Kidney

I'm the Chief Content Officer of Livingly Media (Livingly, Lonny, StyleBistro, Zimbio, Mabel + Moxie, and It's Rosy). My TV boyfriend is Pacey Witter. You can reach me at jill@livingly.com.
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