30 Rock Chapman Adds Name to Kidney Transplant List

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Grizzwald “Grizz” Chapman, a cast member of “30 Rock,” has added his name to the wait-list for a kidney transplant. Chapman is undergoing dialysis treatment three times a week and attempting to lose weight while waiting for a new kidney.

About 84,000 people in the United States are waiting for a kidney transplant, according to the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), which keeps an updated list of people who are waiting for a kidney and other organs for transplantation. UNOS facilitates organ sharing among transplant centers, organ procurement organizations, and histocompatibility labs across the United States. Currently there are more than 230 facilities in the nation that perform kidney transplants.

Medical conditions that can lead an individual to require a kidney transplant include polycystic kidneys, chronic pyelonephritis, nephrosclerosis, glomerulonephritis, diabetes, kidney stones, renal cell carcinoma, Wilms’ tumor, and severe hypertension. According to a CNN report, Chapman admitted that he ignored his high blood pressure and refused to take medication for his condition for more than ten years. Today he has severe hypertension.

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One obstacle to Chapman getting a kidney transplant is his weight: at 6-foot-11, the 378-pound actor must lose more than 75 pounds before he can be considered a candidate for a kidney transplant. To help him lose that weight, he is working with Dr. Oz Mehmet of “The Dr. Oz Show.”

According to UNOS, there are several steps necessary to get on the national waiting list for an organ transplant:
• Get a referral from a physician
• Choose a transplant hospital. The chosen hospital should meet the patient’s needs regarding insurance, location, support group availability, and finances
• Schedule an appointment for an evaluation to learn if you are a viable candidate for transplant
• Ask questions about the hospital and the transplant team and procedures
• If the hospital’s transplant team determine you are a good candidate, you will be added to the national waiting list

Because it is possible to live a normal, healthy life with only one functioning kidney, people who need a kidney can get one from a living donor. According to the Paired Donation Network, although the numbers of living donors and deceased donors have risen over the past several years, the donations have not kept up with the number of patients who need a kidney transplant. As the number of people who need a kidney increases, so does the waiting times for a transplant. In the United States, the average wait for a kidney transplant is more than three years.

Dr. Oz has said he and a team of medical experts will help Chapman remain healthy while he goes through dialysis and waits for a kidney transplant. Chapman plans to continue his role on “30 Rock” while undergoing dialysis and preparing for the day he get a new kidney.

SOURCES:
CNN, Dec. 14, 2009
Paired Donation Network
United Network for Organ Sharing

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