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4441 North Interstate 10 Service Road West
Metairie, LA, 70006
United States

(504) 648-3477

Conversations about organ, tissue and eye donation with hosts Lori Steele, Sally Gentry and Joey Boudreaux. Our goal is to raise awareness about the need for the life saving gifts of organ, tissue & eye donation. Help the Gifted Life Podcast share the latest information about donation and transplantation, share this podcast with your family and friends. Share your inspiring stories with us or give us a call at (504) 648-3477. We welcome your comments and suggestions.

Archive 2015

Kelly Ranum

Release Date: 12/25/2015

Show Notes: A very special day for us because this is episode 20 of The Gifted Life podcast! In this holiday episode you’ll hear from LOPA’s CEO, Kelly Ranum. She’ll reflect with Lori and Joey on LOPA’s donation milestones and her career. Then our hosts are talking about coping with grief during the holidays with Sally, and she has some great insights for all listeners. Christen Roberts, who is Donate Life Float floragraph honoree Matt Walsh’s sister, chats with the hosts as the family prepares to travel to Pasedena for the Rose Parade. Also, we honor Hero Dru Mayon. Happy holidays from The Gifted Life podcast team!

Tissue Bank

Release Date: 12/11/2015

Show Notes: In episode 19 of The Gifted Life you can hear why a high school held a fundraiser, which agency ensures safety in tissue donation, who is a special honoree in a national parade, and how to deal with grief. First, Lori tells Joey how and why Dutchtown High School raises funds to support our Donate Life education efforts. Then our hosts welcome Jason LoVerdi from AATB, the American Association of Tissue Banks, to learn how the agency works to establish the standards for healing tissue transplants. Treasure Life’s Journey, is this year’s theme for the Donate Life Rose Float. Learn more about the float and Louisiana’s floragraph honoree, Matthew Walsh. Our resident expert, Sally Gentry, begins a conversation so we can learn more about grief. Our hosts honor donor Hero, Alex Corcoran, and an answer to a listener’s question all here on episode 19 of The Gifted Life.

Thank You

Release Date: 11/26/2015

Show Notes: In episode 18 you get to hear families giving thanks to Heroes in this holiday episode of The Gifted Life. This is a very special episode filled with deeply personal testimonials from families directly connected to organ, eye and tissue donation. But first, Lori and Joey welcome Sally Gentry from LOPA family services so she can tell you how to get connected with assistance if needed during the holidays. Then, listen to our recorded series of inspirational dedications. The power of donation is broadcasted; our hosts honor Hero Jeffrey Scott Dennis, and most of all we give thanks in episode 18 of The Gifted Life.


Release Date: 11/13/2015

Show Notes: Episode 17 of The Gifted Life is where you can learn about some of the amazing breakthroughs in tissue donation. Hear how skin donations are making a difference in the healing process for diabetics and breast cancer patients when guest, Kent Bockes, joins Lori and Joey. National Donor Sabbath is an annual weekend observance in November where faith-based organizations can spread the word about the power of donation. Hero, Laci Taquino, is honored by both our hosts, and through a special dance competition. Plus, your questions are answered here on episode 17 of The Gifted Life.

Kenton Koch

Release Date: 10/30/2015

Show Notes: Joey and Lori are chatting about a very special milestone and saving sight with Jamie Collier of the Baton Rouge Regional Eye Bank. After, our hosts talk to racer, Kenton Koch. He’s a winner on the track and has a special reason why he is a champion for organ, eye and tissue donation. Robyn Doiron is our honored donor hero, and your questions get answers here on episode 16 of The Gifted Life.

Richard Norris

Release Date: 10/16/2015

Show Notes: Listen, and you’ll hear The Gifted Life in a new way as our podcast is recorded live for the first time in front of a studio audience. First, heart recipient, Jamie Napolitano, honors her donor, Cameron, and his family. There is a part that sounds low when Jamie starts, but hang in there for a minute because when her microphone gets set, you don't want to miss Jamie honoring her hero! LOPA’s Sally Gentry talks about how donor families communicate with a loved one’s recipients. What is it like to live with a face that isn’t yours? Learn from face transplant recipient, Richard Norris. And, the audience has questions for Lori, Joey and our guests. It is exciting, fast-paced, live education during episode 15 of The Gifted Life.


Release Date: 10/02/2015

Show Notes: The Gifted Life podcast is off and running with events. 2 guests, a double transplant, 25 years ago; hear from transplant physician, Dr. Philip Boudreaux, and the very 1st kidney/pancreas transplant recipient in Louisiana, Charles Garner. Then Doug Cossman, kidney recipient, talks about how his friend, Shelby, saved his life and how Doug continues to honor his hero. Technology helps you sign up to be an organ, eye & tissue donor anytime, our hosts honor hero, Jeremy Cole, a question leads a professional to the facts about donation, all on episode 14 of The Gifted Life podcast.

Holding Hands

Release Date: 9/18/2015

Show Notes: The Gifted Life podcast gives you so much information to learn more about organ, eye and tissue donation beginning with the Recovery segment where you can learn how many people LOPA works with to make life happen. A husband and wife hold hands in the hospital. Hear from living donor, Vanessa Anderson, when she joins Lori and Joey to talk about how she saved her husband’s life. Electronic records keep LOPA focused for the technology segment when LOPA’s Michelle Duvernay chats with the hosts. Hero, Jordan Aucoin, is honored, questions, answers all in episode 13 of The Gifted Life podcast.

Carl Lewis

Release Date: 9/04/2015

Show Notes: The Gifted Life podcast is packed with powerful information and guests. Listen to a doctor’s perspective about donation and why he is a champion for organ donation when Lori and Joey talk to Dr. Cullen Hebert. A true dynamic duo joins our hosts. Pulitzer Prize Winner, Jeffrey Marx, and Olympic Gold Medalist, Carl Lewis, have been champions for donation for more than 2 decades, all in the name of Jeffrey’s sister, Wendy Marx. Hear about Wendy, these two friends’ motivation to spread the word about the Gift of Life, and how they reach people throughout the nation. LOPA’s employees stay connected, virtually, to keep donation in Louisiana moving forward regardless of natural disasters or power outages and our own Michelle Kellum tells you about this cool tech tool. Hero, Austin Shoumaker, is honored, events, questions, answers and so much more in episode 12 of The Gifted Life podcast.

Monkey Bars

Release Date: 8/21/2015

Show Notes: The Gifted Life podcast kicks off with news about a little boy who’s unique transplant story has the whole country’s attention, and why monkey bars are so important to him. Sally Gentry joins Lori and Joey to talk about the services LOPA provides to donor families. How about setting sail to raise donation awareness? Learn from special guest, Hans Nelson, when you can plan to have a great vacation all in the name of his Hero. Visit Christian's Legacy. Lori and Joey welcome guest Cheryl Puckett to discuss an emerging technology that is helping LOPA heal more lives through tissue donation, and they also honor hero, Hunter Roy, all here in episode 11 of The Gifted Life Podcast.

History Lesson

Release Date: 8/07/2015

Show Notes: The Gifted Life podcast is full of event information so you can help us promote donation in Louisiana. Joey has a short history lesson where you can learn about brain death and how physicians determine it. Libbie Harrison is the host’s special guest. She chats about her amazing hero, his GolfForeLife, and all the fun you can have teeing off for organ donation awareness. Gadgets are making a huge difference in how many lives are saved, Lori and Joey honor hero, Christian Nelson, a listener wonders who pays for a living donor’s surgery to give the gift of life to another, and if you, or someone you know, need a speaker for a class or event our hosts tell you where to go. There’s a whole lot in episode 10 of The Gifted Life Podcast.


Release Date: 7/24/2015

Show Notes: The Gifted Life podcast is full of special guests. We speak with Cheryl McGee-Hills,Community Educator for LOPA, to get an update on the party with a purpose that is Essence Fest. In the recovery segment, we speak with Jessica Roth of Nebraska Organ Recovery to learn more about a 3-year-old Nebraska girl who helped save the lives of other children after a battle with brain cancer. In the community segment, Monica and Caroline Fazio spread the word about the power of donation as they tell the story of Michael "Mickey" Fazio. A new technology, TransNet, will improve the current practice of packaging and labeling organs. Hero Michael "Mickey" Fazio is honored and we answer a listener's question; when someone is a living donor, who pays for the donor's surgery? Get that answer and more all in episode 9 of The Gifted Life Podcast.


Release Date: 7/10/2015

Show Notes: On The Gifted Life podcast, your hosts welcome guest Chrissy Hagan, LOPA’s CAO, to chat about a series of awards that have put LOPA on a national stage for workplace excellence. In the recovery segment, find out what testing is performed before an organ is transplanted. Guest, Larabee Thompson, is quizzing Lori and Joey to see how much they know about the CENLA Trivia Challenge, and you can learn the answers with them. Hear about technology experts that are in high demand and supply assistance to so many, hero Garrett Thompson is honored, and a listener questions if it’s normal for donor families to meet a loved one’s recipient. Get that answer and more all in episode 8 of The Gifted Life Podcast.

Essence Fest

Release Date: 6/26/2015

Show Notes: On The Gifted Life podcast, Lori and Joey are talking donation news with Sheron Raymond, and how Essence Festival in New Orleans is the place to register hundreds of donors each year. Listen to find out how you can take part in the festivities by volunteering or sharing a donation story to inspire others this July 4th weekend. Hear a transplant doctor’s perspective. Dr. Emily Ahmed joins your hosts to discuss kidney transplantation. An LSU baseball star makes a statement by simply wearing a Donate Life bracelet at a game. Wendy Lipsey, transplant recipient, calls in to chat about how her friend, Alex Bregman, has inspired thousands with the Donate Life message. Plus, social media takes over our technology segment, hero Justin Harrison is honored, a myth is busted, a question is answered, and more all in episode 7 of The Gifted Life Podcast.


Release Date: 6/12/2015

Show Notes: On The Gifted Life podcast, Joey has an announcement, and Lori doesn’t know what it is. Listen, and you can find out with her! Guest, Suzanna Morton, talks art, education, and how it’s helping raise awareness for donation. Lori and Joey give details about organs that are recovered for transplant, and bust another myth. Citizens in the small city of Springhill are learning lots about donation all thanks to the city’s hospital, Springhill Medical Center. Guest, Chillon Latiolais, joins the show to chat about that powerful partnership. Learn how technology in transplant has grown from faxes and pagers, to fully electronic; hero Alexis Porta is honored, another special guest jumps onto the podcast to answer a listener’s question, all in episode 6 of The Gifted Life Podcast.

Rose Parade

Release Date: 5/29/2015

Show Notes: On The Gifted Life podcast, learn more about how 3 Louisiana heroes are honored on a national stage at the Rose Parade in Pasadena. Hosts, Lori and Joey, tell you how organs are matched to recipients, and who LOPA works with to make life happen. Lori and Joey tackle another myth; can I decide who gets my organ if I become a donor? A community partner takes the wheel to spread education about donation; Road Scholar’s owner, Chris Sibley, calls in. A new electronic tool, used by LOPA, is calculating to save more lives, Lori and Joey honor hero, Kenneth Douglas Morris; our duo talks about getting active for donation education this summer and more in episode 5 of The Gifted Life Podcast.


Release Date: 5/15/2015

Show Notes: On this episode of The Gifted Life podcast; our statewide team, Donate Life Louisiana, is always working to educate and register donors. In news, hear how you can be "One in a Million” by helping a DLL team member "fill a heart” to reach a registry goal. LOPA’s Blake Smith joins your hosts, Lori and Joey, to discuss tissue donation and how it heals lives. "What does it cost to donate?” This myth gets busted. Then another college semester means a new class that works to register donors! LSU student lifesaver, Courtney McGuffee, tells our hosts how her class project inspires. Learn how a machine assists in extending the time for kidneys to be transplanted, Lori and Joey honor hero, Antonio Bennett; our duo answers a listener’s question and more in episode 4 of The Gifted Life Podcast.

Eye Donation

Release Date: 5/01/2015

Show Notes: On The Gifted Life podcast, jump right into the phenomenal news about the National Blue and Green Day campaign in Louisiana with Lori and Joey. Then onto our Recovery segment, learn about eye donation with our guest, Southern Eye Bank’s Colleen Oltmann. Is donation against my religion? Our hosts bust another myth by arming you with the facts. Estate planning attorney, Paul Rabalais, calls in during the community segment to tell you why he works with LOPA to raise donation awareness by putting on the Rabalais Run for Life 5k. The Technology segment covers new software that is helping LOPA save more lives. Lori and Joey honor hero, Tabitha McLindon; answer a listener’s question, and more, all on episode 3 of The Gifted Life.


Release Date: 4/17/2015

Show Notes: On The Gifted Life podcast, your hosts Lori and Joey start you off with news. Hear about sweet baby Briggs’ possible need for a liver, and a new place of serenity dedicated at a South Louisiana hospital - La Place de Vie. Then in our Recovery segment, learn even more about how hospitals are finding many ways to bring donation awareness to their campuses when Lori and Joey talk to guest, Shawn-Paul Harrison. Want to know more about recovery? Joey explains donation after cardiac death. Listen close to find out which donation myth our hosting duo will bust in this episode. Plus, when the Community Segment begins, LSU student, Ashley Porcuna, calls in to chat about a special campaign her class produced to register donors on campus, and then find out how you can get LOPA involved in your event. The Technology segment covers an exciting technological advance that will add ease to registering donors in Louisiana. Lori and Joey honor hero, Ryan Scott Cart; answer your questions, and more, all on episode 2 of The Gifted Life.

The Gifted Life

Release Date: 4/03/2015

Show Notes: April is National Donate Life Month and a Louisiana donor, Shawn Elizabeth Guillot, is honored nationally. Lori and Joey give tips on how to stay informed about community events. Joey gives some insight about brain death. One of the biggest myths about organ donation is busted. April 17th is National Blue & Green Day, Lori and Joey give some tips on how to gear up for the big event ( We have a very special guest, Blayne McRae. He shares the story of his son Smith William McRae. Some benefits of our new donor registry website are discussed. We pay tribute to Shawn Elizabeth Guillot with our hero segment. A question is answered about the organ donor waiting list and much more on our first episode of The Gifted Life Podcast.