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How viral meme helped save Success Kid’s dad’s life

‘Success Kid’ lives up to name, using meme to help save dad’s life
WATCH: The popular meme helped Success Kid's family pay for his father's kidney transplant.

Sammy Griner, also known as “Success Kid,” is living up to his title after he used the meme’s popularity to raise funds for his father’s kidney transplant.

Sammy and his parents Laney and Justin Griner were able to turn Sammy’s unexpected notoriety into a campaign that had support pouring in from around the world.

Success Kid turned into #SuccessKidney as the Griners launched a crowdfunding campaign to help pay for the anti-rejection medication Justin needed for a transplant.

READ MORE: Success Kid needs your help getting his dad a new kidney

“If you don’t have the money and you can’t get your medications they won’t give you a transplant, because your body will reject the kidney without the medications,” said Justin in an interview with First Coast News.

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The Jacksonville, Fla. family set up a Go Fund Me page in April 2015 in hopes of raising USD$75,000. They raised over USD$100,000.

Next week marks one year since Justin’s successful transplant.

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Biggest. Success Kid. Ever.

A post shared by Laney Griner (@laneymg) on

Comments from some backers noted how they wanted to help the boy in “the brilliant picture” to have a happy childhood with his father.

“#SuccessKid rocks and I want him to have a successful full childhood with his daddy there for him,” wrote a backer named Sara Varela.

Another backer recalled how Sammy’s photo helped her father through his recovery after a heart attack.

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Nine-year-old Sammy was 11-months-old when mom Laney snapped a photo of him eating sand on the beach and posted it online.

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The determined expression on Sammy’s face combined with his fistful of sand turned him into a viral sensation.

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#successkidney

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“I feel like he actually embodies that title that he just kind of happened to get,” said Laney.