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‘Success Kid’ Sammy Griner uses viral status to raise money for dad’s kidney transplant

Sammy Griner's mother Laney took the

Sammy Griner's mother Laney took the "Success Kid" picture in 2007. Credit: Laney Griner

"Success Kid" Sammy Griner, the subject of a popular Internet meme, is hoping to use his viral fame to help his dad get a kidney transplant.

Griner was a baby when his mom shared a picture of him looking victorious with a clenched fist online, which was picked up by social media users who used the image to illustrate wins they were particularly proud of.

Now 8 years old, Griner and his family are turning to the Internet for help.  

Sammy's father, Justin Griner, was diagnosed with kidney disease in 2006. He suffered full kidney failure in 2009 and has been on dialysis since, according to CBS News.

"One can only survive with no natural kidney function and using article kidney filtering for so long," Laney Griner, Justin's wife and Sammy's mom, said to the Daily Dot. "His energy and mood are affected, he can no longer work, and he spends 12 hours a week in dialysis clinic."

The family created a GoFundMe campaign to help cover the expenses for a kidney transplant. The page doesn't mention Sammy's famous photo, but encourages people to donate and to see if they are a kidney donor match.

"At first, I didn't want to use Success Kid because I wanted the focus to be on Justin," Laney told ABC Today. "But most people who know us know our son is Success Kid, and so people started talking about it."

The GoFundMe campaign has fundraised more than $83,000 as of Wednesday afternoon, surpassing the original goal of $75,000.

"This is beyond anything we could have imagined," Laney told ABC Today.  "If not for Success Kid, he would be just another guy who needs a kidney."

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