Celebrity star reporter Steven "Cojo" Cojocaru made a name for himself as a red carpet regular. At the age of 40, he was living the life of his dreams until one ordinary day last spring. It was on a routine visit to the doctor that Cojo was told he was in the final stages of kidney failure and was in desperate need of a transplant.
But Steven's dear friend, Abby, stepped up with a miracle. She donated one of her own kidneys to save his life. And just two months after a successful surgery, Cojo appeared on our show.
According to the United Network for Organ Sharing, more than 87,000 people are on the nation's organ transplant waiting list, with almost 700 of them 5 years old or younger. On average, 18 patients die every day while awaiting an organ simply because the organ they needed didn't become available in time. About 110 people are added to the nation's organ transplant waiting list each day—one every 13 minutes—and about 70 people per day receive transplants from either a living or deceased donor.
Some Facts on Organ Transplantation and Donation
Organs and tissues that can be donated include heart, kidneys, lungs, pancreas, liver, intestines, corneas, skin, tendons, bone and heart valves.
People of all ages and medical backgrounds should consider themselves potential donors. Your medical condition at the time of death, or in some cases as a living donor, will determine what organs and tissue can be donated.
There is no national registry of organ donors. Even if you have indicated your wishes on your drivers' license or a donor card, be sure you have told your family, as they will be consulted before donation can take place.
An open-casket funeral is possible for organ and tissue donors.
Cojo's Recommended Websites:
To learn more about how to become an organ donor, visit the Coalition on Donation at www.donatelife.net.
To learn more about organ donation and transplantation, visit the United Network for Organ Sharing at www.unos.org or Transplant Living at www.transplantliving.org.
To learn more about polycystic kidney disease, visit the Polycystic Kidney Disease Foundation at www.pkdcure.org.