‘Success Kid’ Helps Make His Dad’s Transplant a Success

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Sam Griner has been famous since he was eleven months old. You may not know him by name, but when you see his picture, we’re pretty sure you know who he is. He’s known as Success Kid because of the picture of him with his clenched fist and satisfied smirk.

Sam is very close to his father who had been sick for six years. Because of their strong family bond, Sam was able to raise money to help pay the expenses for the operation. Now the father of the famous boy is back at home after having a kidney transplant last week.

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The first picture above is the picture of Sam that went viral on the Internet. His mother took the photo of him when he was eleven months old, and she posted it online. Sam is shown in the picture with a balled-up fist and a self-satisfied look on his face. The second picture is of Sam and his father.

The family credits the success of the meme in helping them raise the funds that they needed for the kidney operation. Because the meme was so popular, everyone was ready to help. Using the Success Kid meme helped them raise thousands of dollars in just a matter of days. The family raised more than $100,00.

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


According to their GoFundMe page, Justin Griner from Jacksonville, Florida, used to spend hours on dialysis nearly every day for six years after his kidneys started to fail. Then he got a call that a kidney was available. Just hours after the call, Griner underwent a successful kidney transplant operation at the Mayo Clinic.

Justin Griner said that when Sam heard the news, he burst into tears. He was so happy for his father. The Griner family says they’re excited that they’ll be able to take a real trip now that Justin no longer needs hours of dialysis. They want to do a cross-country trip and see the whole United States.


Lainey Griner documented her husband’s recovery on Instagram and asked others to consider becoming organ donors.

Justin was astounded by the messages of support he received after the operation, and he says that the meme has been positive for his family.

He says, “As much bad stuff you might see in the news every day, it’s refreshing to see for the most part that people are good and want to take care of each other.”

Mrs. Griner hopes that people will be inspired to become organ donors because of their story. She posted the following message on Twitter:

If the #successkidney story has a moral, it’s be an organ donor! Thanks for being part of our amazing #transplant adventure.”

Watch the videos below.

For more stories on kidney donors, read these articles:

Mother Gives Up Her Kidney for Her Daughter

Gym Teacher Donates a Kidney to Save Her Student’s Life