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‘Success Kid’ Uses Internet Meme Fame to Save His Dad

Instagram/Laney Griner

In 2007, an internet star was born.

Laney Griner snapped a priceless picture of her then 11-month-old on the beach clutching a hand of sand. That photo spread like wildfire and spawned what’s known as the “Success Kid meme.” 

But Success Kid has gone on to do so much more than inspire thousands of people to create hilarious memes of him… he saved his father’s life.

Success Kid, whose real name is Sammy Griner, is now nine years old. In 2015, his father learned that he needed a new kidney. The family set up a GoFundMe page hoping to raise enough money to cover the cost of the transplant surgery. Thanks to Sammy’s internet fame, they were able to reach their goal, and then some. They raised over $100 thousand dollars.

Who would have imagined that a funny photo posted on Flickr years ago would end up saving someone’s life? Sammy’s dad, who suffered from chronic kidney disease, is recovering well after successful transplant surgery last August.

“There’s so much positivity. There’s not a single thing we regret about ‘Success Kid,'” Lainey Griner shared with ABC News. “It’s pretty crazy how it all happened. I still can’t wrap my head around it.”

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‘Success Kid’ Uses Internet Meme Fame to Save His Dad