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

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  • Sammy Griner first became famous back in 2007 when he was only 11 months old.
  • His mother shared a photo of him with a clenched fist that quickly went viral.
  • Netizens nicknamed him the “Success Kid.”
  • Now, “Success Kid” is all grown up, and he’s using his fame to help save his dad’s life.

Sammy Griner was only 11 months old when he was dubbed the “Success Kid.” The little boy from Jacksonville, Florida, 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. After a lot of netizens realized that the crowdfunding was for the father of the “Success Kid,” nearly 5000 people raised $101,125 of the family’s $75,000 goal.

At first, Laney was hesitant about the idea of using Sammy’s success to spread the word.

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 finally had a kidney transplant in 2015 and has since gotten better.

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 he’s “really happy” that his photo has been a big help.

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. While most kids his age would take the exposure as an opportunity to be a celebrity, Sammy wants to be an artist when he grows up.

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