CINCINNATI — He's on a waiting list, but local comedian Christian Grant is sick of waiting for a new kidney - again - so he's taken his quest for a living donor on the road and online.
"I'm on the hunt for my hero, someone who's willing to give me their kidney," he said. "This is something I'm really pushing on: how I can use my creative exploits and all my experiences and ... how can I take the wheel on this and find that person?"
He's launched a social media campaign with a YouTube video - viewed tens of thousands of times - to try to find that person.
Grant had a kidney transplant in 2010, after a mysterious kidney infection led to kidney failure. He nearly lost his sight and required dialysis almost daily.
"I felt like Rapunzel, like a robotic Rapunzel almost," he said. "Because I couldn't leave my room. I was stuck to this machine that a tube came into my stomach."
In those moments, he found comedy. He realized he wanted to make people laugh.
"So when I realized like, that was a terrific tool for pain management, for PTSD, for any of that, that's why I knew this is something I have to be doing for the rest of my life," Grant said.
That led to school in New York City, gigs with the Upright Citizens Brigade comedy troupe and roles in Off-Broadway shows. But COVID-19 - and a ticking clock - brought him back home to the Cincinnati area.
His 2010 donation came from a deceased donor. Doctors told him that means the kidney is only viable for 15-20 years. So, he started looking for a living donor for his next transplant.
When he performs again at Go Bananas Comedy Club on January 26, he said his set will be heavy on his story - and his ask for help.
"A lot of my bits, a lot of material is kidney related," he said. "[It's] helping educate people what it means about this stuff, how awesome it is to give something so huge to save someone's life."
In the meantime, he's sharing his video - and others - everywhere he can, hoping for a living donor or extra support along the way.
"Every person who watches this video and takes interest, I hope they just join me on this journey," Grant said.
If you're interested in the donation process, Grant has created this guide.