by ecorazzicontributor
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Photo: East Valley Tribune

My drivers license says that I’m an organ donor, but at this point I’ve still got all my parts in tact. Which is why the story of a 23-year-old who decided to donate his kidney to help actor Grizz Chapman, who plays Grizz Griswold in NBC’s “30 Rock,”is all the more impressive.

Ryan Perkins, who works in accounts receivable at a law firm in Phoenix, chose to donate his kidney last June to Chapman, 36, who has suffered from kidney disease for four years. Chapman had been on a transplant waitiing list for two years and was suffering kidney failure, being forced to go through dialysis three days a week leading up to the transplant.

“I really had no life before the transplant,” Chapman told the East Valley Tribune. “I still did the things I had to do, but I really couldn’t plan anything like activity with the kids, basketball practice, plan vacations. I really couldn’t do anything that wasn’t planned around dialysis. I was living, but life wasn’t fun. I’m grateful and appreciative to Ryan.”

To show support for each other and their cause, Perkins and Chapman will reunite on April 2 to walk in the National Kidney Foundation’s Kidney 5K Walk inside Chase Field in Phoenix.

“It just feels good when I see him,” Perkins explained. “He looks healthier, and he’s able to do things he wasn’t able to do without being tired or having to worry about doing it around his schedule of dialysis. We stay in touch, and consider each other family.”

Thanks to Perkins selfless donation, Chapman now has a daily routine of walking on a treadmill for 90 minutes, and he’s hosting fundraiser walks for “Team Grizz” to raise money and awareness for the National Kidney Foundation.

“Ryan is an amazing person,” Chapman stated. “When I was his age, I wasn’t thinking about giving someone a kidney. How do you ever repay someone for something like that? You can’t. It’s not like borrowing $20 from someone and telling them you’re going to give it back. It’s something that you can never repay someone for.”

Via East Valley Tribune

  • herwin

    wow. that’s beyond words. what a great guy.

  • David J Undis

    The generosity of live organ donors is wonderful. It’s a shame we need so many live organ donors. There are now over 110,000 people on the National Transplant Waiting List. Americans bury or cremate 20,000 transplantable organs every year.

    There is another good way to put a big dent in the organ shortage — if you don’t agree to donate your organs when you die, then you go to the back of the waiting list if you ever need an organ to live.

    Giving organs first to organ donors will convince more people to register as organ donors. It will also make the organ allocation system fairer. About 50% of the organs transplanted in the United States go to people who haven’t agreed to donate their own organs when they die.

    Anyone who wants to donate their organs to others who have agreed to donate theirs can join LifeSharers. LifeSharers is a non-profit network of organ donors who agree to offer their organs first to other organ donors when they die. Membership is free at or by calling 1-888-ORGAN88. There is no age limit, parents can enroll their minor children, and no one is excluded due to any pre-existing medical condition. LifeSharers has over 14,500 members as of this writing.

    David J. Undis
    Executive Director

  • Hillary Rettig

    don’t forget there are VEGAN kidney donors, too!!!

    not just me but at least one other, and one in process.