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.”