Cojo's Miraculous Story of Survival
He's a fixture on the red carpet reporting all the big stories in Hollywood, but for the last few years Steven "Cojo" Cojocaru became the lead, and the story was anything but glamorous. "I was terrified, I would sob and weep at night. 'What's going to happen? Am I going to die?'" Cojo says of his 2004 diagnosis with polycystic kidney disease, which he describes in his memoir Glamour, Interrupted.,
The diagnosis led to a failed transplant and dialysis as he awaited a new donor. Doctors suggested his mother and she proved to be a match, which led to a successful transplant surgery. Now this Hollywood insider is discussing a much heavier subject than his typical glitz. "This is very raw stuff. I'm talking about nearly dying ... I never thought things would be this serious," Cojo tells Rachael. "I came really close to the brink. I saw the light and it wasn't pretty."
Still, this fashion critic brings his trademark humor and sense of style to the most serious of situations, creating his own star-filled moment while in the hospital. "I was so drugged after one of my transplants that I started to have a fantasy and I catered and party-planned my own funeral. And of course J-Lo was there -- she looked fabulous. Sarah Jessica Parker and you were there!" Cojo tells Rachael. "You were sitting beside Queen Elizabeth."
Rachael jokes she made the food for the event, and then gets serious. "You really did come face to face with death," she says.
Cojo now looks back on the time as an empowering experience. "I learned a lot about myself," he says. "I thought I was a wimp. I really did and I didn't think I was capable when I was diagnosed. But something, the inner warrior in me woke up. And I've also experienced incredible gratitude and I was really an amateur. I really didn't know what gratitude was, but this is the kind of gratitude that feeds your soul."
Now he's telling his story to raise awareness and give hope to other kidney disease sufferers. (Click on the above video as Cojo shares the story of two families in desperate need of a miracle, and the twist of fate that bonds these strangers forever.)
"I think this was foisted on me because God knows I have a really big trap and that I could spread the gospel and spread the word," Cojo says. "And I know people can do it and reach into their hearts and give people a kidney and take them away from this living hell."
Rachael praises Cojo for his campaign and adds, "It's something we can all give while we're still living, which makes it a very special organ."
- latest show clips
- celebrity friends
- cooking videos
- rachael between the scenes
- backstage pass
- tips and stories
- be on the show
- set tour
- audience tickets
- rachael's bio
- what's rach wearing
- rach on the radio
- follow us on twitter
- join us on facebook