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The internet steps in to help ‘success kid’ raise money for his dad’s kidney transplant

"The only way to save his life is to get a transplant. There’s no other way around that," said Justin's wife Laney.

The internet steps in to help ‘success kid’ raise money for his dad’s kidney transplant
Cover Image Source: GoFundMe | Success Meme | Laney Griner

The internet is not only a place where people find short-lived fame but where people are also kind enough to help each other out when needed. Justin Griner, the father of the child who shot to fame as the "Success Kid" meme has managed to raise over $100,000 through a crowdfunding campaign to pay for a kidney transplant, according to The Verge. Griner became unwell in 2006 and had a full kidney failure in 2009 which made him go on dialysis. The family created the fundraiser in April 2015 and they were able to raise $101,125 through the GoFundMe page. Justin's wife, Laney, wrote at that time, "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." 



In an interview with The Daily Dot, she spoke about why a kidney transplant is needed. Laney said, “One can only survive with no natural kidney function and using article kidney filtering for so long." She added, “His energy and mood are affected, he can no longer work, and he spends 12 hours a week in a dialysis clinic. Having been on dialysis for this long greatly increases his risk of developing further complications. The only way to save his life is to get a transplant. There’s no other way around that.”

She added that "medicines and anti-rejection drugs one must take for life, some costing thousands of dollars a month."



Laney's son, Sam Griner's beachside fist pump went viral in 2007. She said, "We're the parents of 'Success Kid' for goodness sake." She added, "If anyone understands the power, the mass, and goodwill of the internet, it's those of us lucky to experience it daily." Laney was the one who took the original picture of her son, Sammy on August 26th, 2007 which went viral and was posted on different sites as a meme. In 2012, the British media company Virgin Media started running billboard advertisements with a mirrored version of Sammy's photo. Griner confirmed through Flickr that she did get paid for the picture and that he would also be part of the Vitamin Water commercials in the United States in 2012, according to knowyourmeme




White House Archived Twitter page also used the "Success Kid" picture with the caption, "Pass Immigration Reform Save Taxpayers $897,000,000,000" in 2013. In another story, the boy known for the "Side-eye Popeyes kid" meme, Collin is now a freshman offensive lineman at D-II Lake Erie College and has received a NIL deal with Popeyes. NIL deal, which stands for name, image, and likeness. Fans had pushed for a NIL deal for Collin as he won a state championship in 2021.



On January 8, Collin went on Twitter saying that he wanted to have a talk with Popeyes. “I didn’t know the internet was like that,” Collin said on Instagram Live shortly after the fact. “Now I know to never doubt the internet. I appreciate that", reports Dexerto. There haven't been any clear terms regarding the deal, but in 2021 the NCAA lifted the rules surrounding it which meant that college athletes can also agree to NIL deals. 

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