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Topic : 01/22 Cojo: Back from the Brink

Number of Replies: 216
New Messages This Week: 0
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Created on : Friday, January 18, 2008, 02:23:44 pm
Author : DrPhilBoard1
Steven Cojocaru, known to fans as Cojo, was the go-to fashion guy on the red carpet and lived a life of glitz and glamour. But that changed when he received the worst news of his life –- he was diagnosed with kidney disease and needed a transplant -- not once, but twice. Cojo chronicles his struggles in the book, Glamour, Interrupted: How I Became the Best Dressed Patient in Hollywood, and sits down with Dr. Phil to talk about his tumultuous journey. Then, Terri has been on dialysis for two-and-a-half years as she desperately waits for a kidney donor. She joins the show via Web cam to find out how Cojo maintained his positive attitude and how she can stay in the right frame of mind while waiting for a transplant. Plus, Alison and Danaye say their sister, Missie, has had two kidney transplants, and they’re worried she’s going to need a third because of her stressful lifestyle. The sisters say their mom, Janaye, is at fault for coddling Missie her whole life. What will it take for Missie to slow her life down and for her siblings to back off? And, meet a man who had a heart attack but checked out of the hospital so he could smoke a cigarette! His mom says she’s desperate to help him before he ends up in an early grave. Talk about the show here.

Find out what happened on the show.

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January 22, 2008, 8:01 am CST

Message about heart disease

I am appalled that in this day an age a person chooses to ignore warning signs, such as a heart attack.  In 2005 I buried my father who lost his battle with heart disease.  He was diagnosed with heart failure (the only cure is heart transplantation) when he was in his early forties.  He underwent surgery after surgery to get a few more years.  For his family he underwent the devastating surgery that shut his heart down and assisted the blood flow.  The surgery was painful and unsuccessful, but he went through the ordeal for his family and to see his grandchildren just a few more times.  People who can't see that life is fragile and that it's worth changing their lifestyle to save it are pathetic.  So many people would walk on nails to be healthy and living a healthy life, and that man is just throwing it away.  My Dad lost his 12 year battle with heart disease when he was 58 he left behind two daughters in their 30's and two sons in their 20's.  He fought a hard battle and will forever be a hero in my life and that of his 4 grandchildren.  All I wish is that people who don't seem to value their lives would think about those who will have to pick up the pieces that they leave when they are gone.

I miss my Dad everyday, but I know he stayed as long as he could...who else can say that?

January 22, 2008, 8:04 am CST

01/22 Cojo: Back from the Brink

Quote From: jtjtl0123

 Hi, my name is Jennifer.  I have a husband and 3 boys with PKD.  I am glad Cojo is doing well but I have to say at first when he came out about this disease he didn't take it serioulsy enough and express how important it is to treat the symptoms of this disease and I wish he would've been more of an advocate for PKD.  I hope that he changes around and helps the 12.5 million people worldwide with PKD.  I fight everyday for my husband and my boys in hopes that they will not die before me.  Did you know that there is a PKD Foundation and that there are over 75 walks in the US every September for Walk for PKD and that is the only fundraiser done to raise money for a cure.  I wish Cojo would talk about that!  Someone needs to stand up and help us "regular" people who are dealing with PKD spread the awareness.  That is the only way we will find a cure!

God bless you and your family!  I will keep you in my prayers, I know life most be challenging and harder thatn most can imagine.  Keep faith in each other and stay strong.

January 22, 2008, 8:06 am CST

I could not believe they WONT quit

My husband and I have smoked for 15 plus years. I cannot believe that this couple was not even willing to try something that could help them quit smoking. I would do anything to quit. I have tried to quit but end up smoking again and again! It just amazes me to know end that THEY love those cigarettes more than their family. I cannot even stand the smell of the cigarette anymore. My husband and I both want to quit but have not had the opportunities that this couple was given (and I still cant believe they threw it all away). Wow what a waste.

January 22, 2008, 8:16 am CST


Quote From: jackielu2


Dear Dr. Phil,

I ,too, was on dialysis and had a Kidney transplant. This was 6 months after my husband died.  I am a teacher and had to keep my job the entire time I was on dialysis.  I have had my transplant 6 years.  I, too am a smoker, and have not quit.  I am educated, smart, and ADDICTED to nicotine.  Maybe I shoud write a book, too.  I take my daily meds with a cup of coffee and a cigarette and then another one on the way to school.  I guess I am a hopeless case.   

Donna from NJ

Kidney Transplant

Aug.30, 2001

PS Did I forget to say that I have Lupus?

PPS Did I forget to say that my mother died of lung cancer at 48?  I am 55...pressing my luck....and my 9 lives.

This is to Donna from NJ


Shame on you. People like you really piss me off.  When I think about the fact that someone is still on a list waiting on a transplant, but you have one and are not bothering to take care of it....I get really pissed off.  I am not sure how you got on a list while smoking because most of the places that I know of will not allow you to be listed if you smoke.  My husband had a transplant 4 years ago.  The whole time he was on the list his blood was checked for nicotine.  Now when your transplant fails...years earlier then it could have lasted, you will cost everyone.  You will get to go back on medicare, that cost tax payers, you are a teacher, so I am guessing that you have some sort of county/city insurance, more cost to tax payers, ECT....not to mention the emotional cost to family and friends.  You seem proud of the fact that you are non compliant with your treatment.  What a disrepect to the person that gave you your kidney.  My husband tries very hard to make sure that he is doing everything that he can to make sure he is keeping his kidney (we call him Ralph) happy and healthy. 


I am glad you are not my daughters teacher.  Children really do look up to their teachers and when you get sick again the kids will be heart broken.  That is not fair to those kids.



January 22, 2008, 8:43 am CST

cojo: back from the brink

First let me start by saying I was very happy to hear cojo is doing so well. I have a comment more for paul, the man who had the heart attack and is still smoking. I do not think you care about anyone but yourself. You were chuckling on the show the whole time, I don't know why you were even on the show. Dr. Phil offered you help and you actually said NO. I couldn't beleive it. My husband had a heart attack before the age of 30.We both smoked ,I have a implanted defibillator now and I am on a pill to quit. My husband is quitting without anything to help him.My husband is the only income we have and we don't get any help from anyone. My husband is on cholesterol medicine and he gets exercise at work and by doing things at home and we have changed our diets and he keeps his dr. appts.. I know quitting is hard because we have tried before.I can't beleive you actually act like it never happened, we have kids also that we have to worry about don't you even worry about your kids. Give me a break! My husband had the heart attack but he gives more for us than anyone. I have all the medical bills and because of that he is under stress everyday but he is always there when we need him. He shows us by example and by words.You say you love your wife and family, in your own way i am sure you do.For you I can only say showing is better than saying.
January 22, 2008, 9:00 am CST

Kidney Disease

Dear Dr. Phil,


Thank you for having a show on this topic, & the importance of people donating their organs.

My husband had polycystic kidney disease. His mother also had the disease, but they could not tell where or how far it began before her.  He had to go on dialysis until he had a kidney transplant in 1982. The disease progressed to the other kidney & had to go for another transplant in 1986. This disease which I was informed spreads to all the major organs of the body. Which I have never heard of or had to ever deal with.  Although through all the years of hopeful thinking & praying for the best, his liver also became a problem. In January 2001, he went for the liver transplant. We were at that time, told to get his priorities in order. At 43, I never dreamed that I would have to deal with such a life with my husband this way so soon.

But, we did what we had to do for him. It was his decision to go through it.


Because he was so sick most of the time, I was working to pay the bills. We live in NJ, & he was in the hospital in Philadelphia, so I was mostly on the road back & forth for many weeks while trying to keep my job. We always tried to have a positive attitude about all he was going through, but it was wearing us both down. He wasn't doing well most of the time, but we still had to go forward. I received a phone call from the hospital that they needed to speak with me. I rushed as fast as I could to get to Philly, which seemed like days before I got there. This was the longest ride of my life.


I was approached by the doctors who were treating him, & they told me that basically he was staying alive with all the meds they were giving to him. The liver wasnt' working properly & they didn't know why. so they asked me, "What did I want them to do"?  I stood there frozen, & couldn't hear or see a thing.....I gave no answer but went right into my husbands room.  There, he just looked at me & shook his head. He hadn't been able to talk much through this time, with all the tubes & things he was hooked up to. But, he pulled my hand close down to him so that I could hear him whisper.  He kissed my ear & said "Let me die".

I knew then that he had enough, he could not fight no more.  Again I was frozen. What do I do? How can I do this? It seemed so easy for the nurse to tell me that all I had to do was "Sign This Paper"......


I knew that was what he wanted me to do, but God only knows that's not what I wanted to do.

After spending some time with him talking, I had to do what I knew was right for him...

Needless to say, my husband age 46, died March 7, 2001 quietly & peacefully.  I have never till this day forgave myself for this feeling that "I killed him".  People have talked to me through this time & still today about my feelings. Telling me that it "Was the best thing for him".  But, until they have to do something like this in their lives, (which I pray they never will) they will never really understand the feelings that I have.


We have learned that his daughter (my step-daugher) has the same problem facing her. She has it on her kidneys & now on the liver. She has progressed much faster than he did or his mom.  We are trying to still be hopeful & praying. It is very hard for her to try to stay positive, knowing & seeing what has already happened in her family.


Although staying positive & hopeful is the best thing, we also have to see & deal with reality.  I think that everyone facing these kind of problems have to deal with all the reality of what could happen.  There are always good and bad in all these situations.


 I hope that people going through any kind of sickness, tell their loved ones just what their wishes are in the event that someone has to make a choice for them.

It's something that we all don't want to ever think about, but it's something that really should be talked about. You never know what could happen, but you'll be prepared.


Thank you for listening to me & talking about this subject.  It did help me just to talk about this.

Thank you also to all the organ donors. In most cases, this is the way that you may help save someone's life.





January 22, 2008, 9:02 am CST

Health Life and Goodness

Dear Dr. Phil I could feel the emotion on todays show regarding kidney transplants. I feel Cojo was not nice and self-righteous. First of all, I have several blood diseases with organ involvement. and understand what it is like to fight for your life. Cojo just started dealing with this health challenge in the last several years. The blonde who clearly has survived for well over 16 years with her transplants should of been celebrated and acknowledge for her reverence for life. She is not surrounded by make-up artist and the life of hollywood. It was clear her family was her support system. I have a very rigid diet and take very good care of my health. I also fudge a little and have ice cream. My favorite dessert as a child and as an adult. How amazing that the blonde rode a horse and could rope a calf. The topic that she worked way to many hours was never mentioned. The focus became that she did not act or do what Cojo thought was the only way to take care of your health. The statement if you don't take your medicine you will die. I have taken medicine for the past 30 years or so and I have forgotten to take my medicine sometimes. I think "Cojo could of learned something from her and yes he was being judgmental. Let's chat with him when he has 16 years of dealing with his health challenge. One's path is truly their own designed by self. DR PHIL I am sure Cojo is a good human being but let's get real Cojo is in the beginning stages of his health challenge this will be a continual daily regiment of health maintenance I feel this topic could of been better expressed with compassion and understanding as to what it takes to live with life and death health challenges. The lack of acknowledgment that she must of been doing something right with her health to be able to walk, talk, work, to be a productive person in society. Take a poll and see if Cojo's opinion and or book really matters. He also mentioned children it was obvious that he had absolutely no info regarding the blonde she was 16 years old with her first transplant. I would liked to hear more about how her challenge was as opposed to Cojo's being the best dressed sick person.
January 22, 2008, 9:14 am CST

Stupid stupid stupid

Quote From: jackielu2


Dear Dr. Phil,

I ,too, was on dialysis and had a Kidney transplant. This was 6 months after my husband died.  I am a teacher and had to keep my job the entire time I was on dialysis.  I have had my transplant 6 years.  I, too am a smoker, and have not quit.  I am educated, smart, and ADDICTED to nicotine.  Maybe I shoud write a book, too.  I take my daily meds with a cup of coffee and a cigarette and then another one on the way to school.  I guess I am a hopeless case.   

Donna from NJ

Kidney Transplant

Aug.30, 2001

PS Did I forget to say that I have Lupus?

PPS Did I forget to say that my mother died of lung cancer at 48?  I am 55...pressing my luck....and my 9 lives.

You, and the two morons on the show who won't even make an effort to TRY to quit smoking are just ridiculous. Do you think it's cute or funny that you're you have lupus, have had a kidney transplant, have a mother who died of lung cancer, yet keep "pressing your luck and your 9 lives". Why not just hold a gun to you head and pull the trigger?


The idiots on the show showed no concern for their children (who are likely suffering from the second hand smoke, will likely start smoking themselves at a young age, and probably be left without one or both parents in the near future.) How selfish can you get? Nothing but trash, plain and simple. They said themselves they want to drink, smoke, eat bad food, party, and have fun. Um, time to grow up, you're parents! Their poor kids.


And yes, before anyone asks, I did quit smoking so don't preach to me about how hard it is, and how I just don't get it because I haven't been there. I grew up and did what I had to do. Kids deserve healthy parents who set a good example, not people who care more about partying with booze and ciggarettes.

January 22, 2008, 9:36 am CST

Paul, please read this!

The smoker (paul) is the person I want to talk to right now. He is every smoker I had ever known. They all say "I would rather have 40 or 50 happy years doing as I please than be on restrictions...". The problem is this.. you don't just "die". you don't just go to bed one night and not wake up the next day. I'm going to use my mother in law as an example. 2 pack a day smoker. fast food/ junk food. Surprisingly, not overweight, though. One morning she woke up and couldn't see from one eye. The other eye wasn't so great either. Go to the Dr. The vessels at the back of her eyes had "blown". They saved the sight of one eye but not the other. She surprisingly still could see well enough to drive so I suppose she didn't feel pressed to quit smoking. The following year she have leg pain sporadically...Long story short...Leg veins one the right leg totally blocked. Leg artery grafts...failure (because she still smoked..) leg amputation.  Finally she gives up smoking. She is scheduled to have the other leg operated on in an effort to save it. But, Hey! She got a good, "fun" 60 years!!! Meanwhile, her sons, friends, nurses and I are caring for her 24/7. she isn't well enough and doesn't see good enough to drive anymore. Heck, her legs are too weak to do much more than scoot from the wheelchair to the toilet to the bed. But her heart vessels seem pretty good, surprisingly. so she has a whole new way of life to adjust to. JUST LIKE YOUR WIFE WILL IF THIS HAPPENS TO YOU!  I remember her Dr. saying to her about 5 years ago.."you're gonna smoke your legs off!"
January 22, 2008, 9:39 am CST

So Happy

Cojo:  I am so happy that you are healthy again!  I am also so proud of the way that you have helped other people to become more patient ,calm and knowledgable about waiting for and transplants themselves.  I am not a transplant patient but I have high anxiety and depression and just watching  you today on Dr. Phil has given me a new out look on life.  I don't have it as bad as I thought I did.  Thank you for not just helping other people but myself as well.  Good Life, and Health to you.  In Gods Hands we are held.  Jiminy62
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