The ‘Success Kid’ is all grown up and he literally saved his dad’s life

Here's what that cute baby looks like now!

You know who the Success Kid is, right?

We’re talking about this guy:

He got famous back in 2007 when his mom posted a picture of him trying to eat sand on Flickr. People fell in love with the picture and have transformed it into a multitude of memes:

Well, “Success Kid” is 10-years-old now (they grow up so fast!) and his viral fame is actually the key that saved his father’s life.

See, the cutie we know and love under the title “Success Kid” is really named Sammy Griner. His dad, Justin, has been battling a genetic kidney disease for years.

The Griner family couldn’t afford the cost of a kidney, so they started a GoFundMe.

That’s where the power of the internet stepped in. A group on Reddit did some background research and figured out that this GoFundMe was in support of Success Kid’s dad. That gave the fundraiser the traction it needed to raise $100,000 (in just a few days!) to pay Justin’s medical bills.

Justin underwent the kidney transplant surgery successfully at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida.

The Griners three ❤️ #successkidney

A post shared by Laney Griner (@laneymg) on

When asked how she feels about her son’s viral photo, mother Laney Griner told ABC News, “By now, it’s just out there. What am I going to do? At least it’s positive. Without that happening, how much could I get this recognition about my husband’s kidney transplant?”

Sammy has the same sentiment, he told the NewStatesman, “The only thing I’m happy for now with that picture is because it saved my dad from dying. He could’ve died so that’s the only time I’m happy — not when people say, ‘Oh, take a picture with me’. I’m just happy because I probably wouldn’t have a dad anymore.”

In general, the Griner family is grateful for the success of Success Kid. They look forward to taking a trip together now that Justin doesn’t have to spend hours doing dialysis.

If that’s not success, I don’t know what is.

Melinda Fox

Melinda Fox has a bachelor's degree in English and is the Sponsored Content Manager for She loves Shakespeare, listening to her favorite songs on repeat and journaling. Find her at