Fame of 'success kid' helps raise money for his father's kidney failure treatment

A child who has been dubbed the "success kid" and became the poster child for many a meme has come to his father's aid.

An image of Sam Griner on the beach with a determined expression and a clenched fist has been used widely online for people looking for the right way to express their joy.

Now, eight-year-old Sam from Florida in the United States might be able to bring his father some joy.

A crowdfunding attempt on GoFundMe reads: "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."

The funding, based in Jacksonville, Florida, has raised almost US$95,000 (S$128,613) in seven days, above the US$75,000 target.

BBC reported that Mr Griner fell ill in 2006 and suffered total kidney failure in 2009. He has been on dialysis ever since.

The Griners also hope the fund-raising page will help find a kidney donor with a good tissue match. The site includes a form that allows people to check if they are a match.

In an interview with the Daily Dot, Sam's mother said a transplant was the only way to save her husband's life.

Mrs Griner said she was initially sceptical about using her son's Internet fame to raise money but realised it could be a good way to highlight the cause.

"We're the parents of 'Success Kid' for goodness' sake," Mrs Griner told the news site. "If anyone understands the power, the mass, and goodwill of the Internet, it's those of us lucky to experience it daily."

jalmsab@sph.com.sg