Back in September 2016, the world was introduced to the wonderful world of "We Are Number One" memes. The meme's origins root from a song performed on the popular Nickelodeon children's television series called Lazy Town.
The popular remix created a snowball effect, turning Both Stefan Kari and "Robbie Rotten" (the name of Stefan's character in the show) to unthinkable levels of virality. The song has been remixed to countless genres and topics gaining millions of views and sparking countless additional references on Twitter and Instagram.
A month later, a shocking post from Stefan appeared on Reddit titled: “I am Stefan Karl (Robbie Rotten from LazyTown) and I am in the fight of my life against cancer! AMA!”
The post continues on to explain that Stefan's cancer was stage 4 and his treatment options were limited. But what truly makes this story incredible lies further down the heart wrenching post when Mark Valenti, Stefan's friend managing the post stated: "...please know that Stefan reads and enjoys your memes, artwork, and good wishes. He knows how you feel about him and he feels the same towards you. When he's feeling better and he finds the right venue, he will reach out personally".
December 2016, Stefan and the Lazy Town team hosted a one hour live stream at their studio and even released the song along with its stem components to the public so its legacy could be continued.
Support has been pouring in from the internet, including a gofund me campaign that has already raised over $150,000 to help cover Stefan's medical expenses.
Stephan's strength and bravery lies well beyond his positive attitude about his illness. When the world made him a meme he didn't complain, sue, or take actions against the internet. He embraced his new found role in the online community and welcomed it with open arms.