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‘Success Kid’ Meme Shares How Going Viral Saved His Dad’s Life

He totally used his internet fame for good.

  • Sammy Griner first became famous in 2007 for a photo of him clenching his first and scrunching lips.
  • The baby photo turned into thousands of memes nicknamed the “Success Kid.”
  • Eventually, Sammy’s fame was used again to help save his dad’s life when a kidney transplant was needed.

Sammy Griner was only 11 months old when he was dubbed the “Success Kid.” The little boy from Jacksonville, Florida, mother became popular after his mother Laney posted a picture on Flickr of him playing on the beach. The mom never imagined that the photo she shared in 2007 would become a viral sensation — but it did.

Years later, Sammy is using his internet fame for good. He surfaced once again when his father Justin needed a kidney transplant. Justin had been diagnosed with kidney disease in 2006, and he then was placed on dialysis after a full kidney failure in 2009.

The family then set up a GoFundMe page to raise money. When several internet users realized that it was the father of the “Success Kid,” nearly 5000 people raised $101,125 of the family’s $75,000 goal.

Laney was initially reluctant to use Sammy’s success to reach out.

She said:

“I didn’t mention Success Kid on the GoFundMe page because I wanted it to be about Justin.

Later I decided to post a link to the fundraiser on my Twitter page and said, ‘If everyone who ever created a Success Kid meme donated $1, we could save Success Dad’s life.’”

Sammy’s father had a kidney transplant in 2015 and is “doing well” today. He is also returning to work free from dialysis.

It is safe to say that Sammy’s viral meme was a huge factor in saving his dad’s life, and “Success Kid” himself believe that it was indeed a success.

He said:

“I’m really happy my picture could help him. I didn’t understand it at the time but I’m so happy he’s okay now.”

While Sammy is happy his fame inspired a good cause, he says he doesn’t want to go viral again and is happy with it having happened just once. Sammy wants to be remembered for something other than the meme. In fact, he wants to grow up to be an artist.

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  • The Philippine Senate passed a new law requiring all students to plant 10 trees to graduate.
  • Rep. Gary Alejano, one of the authors of the bill, said children and young adults in the Philippines should be able to contribute to the environment.
  • The law formalizes a tradition of planting trees upon graduation, in hopes to combat global climate change.

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  • Operating room nurses and staff members at SSM Health St. Clare Hospital in Fenton are giving back to their community in a unique way.
  • Hospital workers all over the US recently began sewing sleeping mats for homeless people.
  • St. Clare used to throw away thousands of blue wraps which ended up in landfills, but not anymore.
  • Most of these nurses say they had no clue how to even thread a needle before getting involved.

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“To The Guy At The Train Station, You Saved Me”

“To the guy at the train station, you saved me… I’m forever in your debt.”

Sometimes, as human beings, we tend to misjudge the possible impact a little good deed can make. So in some instances, we turn our backs on opportunities to do good whenever we encounter them. However, we should always keep in mind that "he smallest act of kindness," according to Oscar Wilde, is usually "worth more than the grandest intention."

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