Grizz Chapman, who plays a security guard on the hit show, is battling severe hypertension with support from Dr. Oz and friends
Grizz Chapman, who plays Tracy Morgan’s reliable sidekick on NBC’s 30 Rock, is facing a real-life drama that is no laughing matter.
On Dec. 15, Chapman will reveal on The Dr. Oz Show that he’s battling severe hypertension and needs a kidney transplant. But he has to lose about 75 pounds first to become a viable candidate for organ transplant.
Chapman says he is ready for the fight of his life. “Whatever I can do for the longevity of my life, I’m going to do,” he tells PEOPLE.
But he admits he’s very nervous about getting a kidney transplant. “I’m afraid to get one because of all the unknown things. You can put a kidney in your body – and somewhere down the line your body might reject it. I’m not saying I don’t want to go through with it but it’s a little scary. It’s a big decision,” he says.
Fortunately, Chapman has Dr. Oz – and a close friend on his side. “The cool thing is Dr. Oz is passionate about this,” says Chapman. “He brought a doctor into my life that is going to help me. When you have other people in your corner, it makes it a little bit easier.”
Chapman’s 30 Rock co-star Kevin Brown, who plays “Dot Com,” will also be there for his pal. “He’s a great support,” says Chapman. “I can come to him with anything. He has a few pounds to lose so we’re going to do this together.”
And there’s another reason he’s taking his story public – he wants to make sure people take their health seriously.
“At the end of the day if I can bring awareness to this problem, I’ll do whatever I can do,” says Chapman, who will admit on Dr. Oz s show that he ignored his high blood pressure for years. “I was a celebrity bodyguard. I didn’t keep the best hours or choose the best food when I was on the road.”
He also didn’t visit the doctor on a regular basis. “Even though you don’t feel anything you need to get an annual check-up,” he says. “It doesn’t matter if you feel fine because I felt fine.”