ByKit Simpson Browne, writer at
Writer-at-large. Bad jokes aplenty. Can be gently prodded on Twitter at @kitsb1
Kit Simpson Browne

Now, for the most part, the subjects of iconic internet memes don't tend to look back that fondly on the viral images that made them famous. After all, the vast majority of such memes tend to gently (or viciously) mock the person in question, meaning there's not always a whole lot of pleasure to be gained from revisiting an awkward picture that millions of people routinely use for gags, gifs and making sarcastic statements about current events in a self-consciously flippant manner.

What's more, since memes aren't really something you can make money from directly, the stars of such images don't even tend to be able to monetize their (often fleeting) fame, barring an improbably crossover to another medium. That, though, doesn't mean that such meme-generated stars don't sometimes find a happy ending in among the awkwardness and embarrassment. For instance...

The 'Success Kid' Meme Has A Surprisingly Uplifting Happy Ending

Made internet famous in 2010, Jacksonville, Florida's Sammy Griner didn't have much of a say in his rise to fame, largely because it was based on an image his mom took of him on a beach three years earlier. That image — in which, having thrust a bunch of sand into his mouth, Griner inadvertently looks to be celebrating a hard fought victory of some kind — soon became known as the "Success Kid" meme, and was pretty hard to avoid on the internet for a spell back in the early 2010s.

While the now 10-year-old Griner may have long since stopped eating sand for fun, though, it seems that his viral childhood antics have recently made something pretty darned incredible possible. Y'see, back in 2006, his father Justin became ill, and by 2009 suffered full kidney failure and was forced to go on dialysis. By 2015, his condition had progressed to the point that he needed a kidney transplant, something the family simply couldn't afford. Unable to find another way to finance the treatment, Laney Griner — having already managed to inadvertently made her son Sammy famous back in 2007 — decided to seek help via GoFundMe, and opened a fundraising page for Justin's treatment. In the process, she soon pulled off something even more remarkable than making a sand-eating baby a star.

Which, of course, is where the meme comes in. Once the good citizens of the internet realized just who Justin Griner's son was (despite the GoFundMe page making no reference to Sammy's meme-based fame) donations began flooding in, and the drive's $75,000 goal was comfortably exceeded. All in all, Sammy Griner's online fame helped to raise more than $100,000 to help save his father's life — and to bring about this gloriously grin-inducing Instagram post, and one hell of a happy ending:

So, the next time you sit in front of a meme thinking about how ridiculous/stupid/pointless it is, just remember that sometimes — every now and then — a meme can actually make a difference.

Just so long as it's backed up by by someone as awesome as Laney Griner...

Want more uplifting tales, or videos involving memes? Never fear, we've got you covered right here, and just below:

In the meantime, though, what do you think? Do you have any uplifting (or funny) tales involving a meme? Let us know below!

(Sources: Instagram)


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