Everyone on Internet has seen the determined face of Sam Griner aka the “Success Kid.”
Pictured with a furrowed brow and a fist raised in success, he began his viral success in 2007 at the young age of 11 months. Even though he is 8 years old now, his chubby face is still being used to express satisfaction and accomplishment online.
However, recently, the Success Kid’s family has turned to the Web for a more serious reason. Sam’s dad Justin Griner urgently needs a new kidney, but the treatment is proving to be much more than the family can afford.
“One can only survive with no natural kidney function and using artificial kidney filtering for so long,” Sam’s mom Laney Griner told the Daily Dot. “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.”
Medicare covers the cost of Griner’s dialysis and surgery, but the family would still have to pay for the additional treatment and anti-rejection medicines for many months.
“There's a lot of medicines and anti-rejection drugs one must take for life, some costing thousands of dollars a month,” she added. “Medicare pays for the first three months, and that's it.”
The doctors diagnosed Griner’s kidney disease in 2006; in 2009, he experienced full kidney failure and has been on dialysis ever since. So far, the Griners haven’t found a compatible organ donor.
“We've had several friends and family offer and get tested to be donors, but no match so far,” said Laney. "We certainly prefer a living donor because the prognosis seems to be much better. Getting on a list for a cadaver donor can take five years or more. We're certainly not opposed, but, obviously, the sooner the better for us all.”
Success Kid’s family launched a GoFundMe campaign with a goal of $75,000 to cover the medical expenses associated with the transplant.
“We're the parents of 'Success Kid' for goodness sake,” exclaimed the mother. “If anyone understands the power, the mass, and goodwill of the Internet, it's those of us lucky to experience it daily.”
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