30 Rock’s Grizzwald “Grizz” Chapman Needs a New Kidney

30 Rock regular Grizzwald “Grizz” Chapman revealed on the Dr. Oz  Show that he has kidney failure due to untreated high blood pressure and receives dialysis three times a week. The 378 lb. 6 ft. 11 inch Chapman admitted that he ignored his severe high pressure for 10 years and refused to take medications for the disease. Now he has only 5% of normal kidney function. He would like to get a new kidney, but needs to lose at least 75 pounds before he will be considered a good candidate. 30 Rock co-star Kevin “Dot-com” Brown says he will help him lose the weight by losing it with him.

What do high blood pressure measurements mean?
Blood pressure is a measurement of the force of blood against the walls of blood vessels and includes what is called systolic and diastolic pressures. Systolic blood pressure is the pressure in the blood vessels when the heart beats (contracts) while pumping blood. Diastolic blood pressure is the pressure when the heart is at rest between beats. High blood pressure can occur either from too much fluid in the blood vessels, or by narrowing of the blood vessels.


This chart reflects the categories of blood pressure from the American Heart Association:

Blood Pressure Levels


systolic: less than 120 mmHg

diastolic: less than 80mmHg

At risk (prehypertension)

systolic: 120???139 mmHg

diastolic: 80???89 mmHg


systolic: 140 mmHg or higher

diastolic: 90 mmHg or higher

High blood pressure (hypertension) itself usually has no symptoms. Rarely, headaches may occur. Some people only learn that they have high blood pressure after it causes health problems, such as coronary heart disease, stroke, or kidney failure.


High blood pressure makes the heart work harder and, over time, can damage blood vessels throughout the body. If the blood vessels in the kidneys are damaged, they may stop removing wastes and extra fluid from the body. The extra fluid in the blood vessels may then raise blood pressure even more. It’s a dangerous cycle, and can eventually lead to total kidney failure. High blood pressure is one of the leading causes of kidney failure, also called end-stage renal disease (ESRD). People with kidney failure must either receive a kidney transplant or have regular blood-cleansing treatments called dialysis. Every year, high blood pressure causes more than 25,000 new cases of kidney failure in the United States.

We have done a story about kidney transplantation in the past, in the case of Natalie Cole.  Click here to see it.

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Mark Boguski, M.D., Ph.D. is on the faculty of Harvard Medical School and is a member of the Society for Participatory Medicine, "a movement in which networked patients shift from being mere passengers to responsible drivers of their health" and in which professional health care providers encourage "empowered patients" and value them as full partners in managing their health and wellness.

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