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Picks and Pans Review: My Kidney Transplants

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Suffering from polycystic kidney disease, Entertainment Tonight style commentator Steven Cojocaru had a transplant in ’05 at 42—and then another when the first failed. The author of a new memoir, Glamour, Interrupted, he talks about his medical odyssey.

WHAT WAS YOUR LOWEST POINT? The day I lost my first donated kidney—June 27, 2005. The donor was my best friend, and when my body rejected her kidney, I felt I was disappointing her.

THEN YOUR MOM GAVE YOU ONE. HOW’S SHE DOING? She feels wonderful. She’s a warrior.

AND HOW ARE YOU? Better than before. It used to be only my hair was conditioned. Now I’m in shape.

HOW DO YOU STAY THAT WAY? The steroids I’m on do make you gain weight. It’s boot camp for me every day, but I eat right, I have a trainer. I had a two-pack-a-day habit. Now I’m the anti-Amy Winehouse.

WERE YOUR CELEB FRIENDS SUPPORTIVE? Halle Berry sent me the sweetest note. Other friends thought I was crazy to stick to the medical route. The ones who want to take you to the swami in a hut under a freeway.

WHAT’S YOUR PROGNOSIS? God willing it is, and will remain, excellent. I take about 30 pills a day.

HOW HAVE YOU CHANGED? I guess I’m more compassionate.

SO YOU’RE DEEP NOW? I’m professionally vapid! In the hospital I made over nurses. Sideburns were good on Elvis but not on a nurse. I had to be sensitive though—these are women with needles.

STILL LIKE YOUR JOB? Beauty is my life: I work in it, I love it, I insist upon it.