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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 info@lopa.org or give us a call at (504) 648-3477. We welcome your comments and suggestions.

Archive 2016


Paul Rabalais

Release Date 12/23/2016

Show Notes: Episode 46 features interviews with participants from the 6th Annual Rabalais Run for Life, including event sponsor, Paul Rabalais. Paul shares why he became involved with LOPA and why he continues to be such a strong advocate. You can also see pictures from the event, including the special 25th anniversary gift given to the family of Shawn Elizabeth. LOPA's CEO, Kelly Ranum, joins us in the studio to recap some of the successes and challenges we faced in 2016 and gives us a sneak preview of things to come in the new year. Then Sally explains the difference between stress and anxiety and how the holidays effect both in our family support segment. We honor Hero, Chad Griffin, and listen to a message we received from the mother of another Hero, Dru Mayon. Happy holidays from The Gifted Life Podcast team!


Jarrius Robertson

Release Date 12/09/2016

Show Notes: It’s episode 45 of The Gifted Life Podcast and Bo Credeur rejoins the podcast team as a special guest host. Lori and Bo interview an in-studio guest, Jarrius Robertson.  This 14-year-old young man has a dynamic personality and has been making headlines throughout the country. Jarrius is a New Orleans Saints Super Fan and he is waiting for a life-saving liver transplant. His father Jordy and Dr. Maria-Stella Serrano from Ochsner Hospital for Children share Jarrius’ journey to transplant and his mantra, “It Takes Lives to Save Lives.” Then, we are joined by an advocate for donation in the classroom. Coach Chris Soileau from Walker Freshman High School describes how learning more about organ, eye & tissue donation has driven him to register as a donor. Sally concludes her two-part segment on addiction and shares some resources to help combat this epidemic. We honor a Hero, Jason Moody, and answer a listener’s question right here on episode 45 of The Gifted Life Podcast.


The Gifted Life

Release Date 11/25/2016

Show Notes: On episode 44 of The Gifted Life Podcast, Advanced Practice Coordinator Bo Credeur joins Lori and Sally as a special guest host. Join us as we take you on an audible journey to Oklahoma. First, learn about our visiting host, Bo Credeur, and his role in saving lives. Then President and CEO, Jeff Orlowski, from LifeShare of Oklahoma fills us in on how Oklahoma is working to save more lives. Learning from others is a great way to ignite conversations about organ, eye, and tissue donation. It’s Decision Week in Oklahoma! Katy Smith, Director of Marketing and Communications for LifeShare of Oklahoma, tells us about Oklahoma’s campaign to spark more registrations during the Thanksgiving Holiday each year. Sally has a plethora of great information when she opens a two-part discussion on addiction(addiction resources). You can learn more about the staggering statistics related to addiction in this episode. We honor Decision Week’s Oklahoma Hero, Karson Baker, and a call we received from an Oklahoma donor mom is truly touching! We enjoyed learning more about LifeShare of Oklahoma and know you will too. All that and more on episode 44 of The Gifted Life Podcast.


Taylor

Release Date 11/11/2016

Show Notes: On episode 43 of The Gifted Life Podcast we hear from two moms and learn more about personalities. Our hosts welcome Tara Storch, mother to Hero Taylor Storch. Smiles all around as we hear about Taylor and the non-profit started in her name, Taylor’s Gift Foundation. We also learn about a special program started to help donor families. Brittany Elliser gives us an update on her baby boy Briggs after his liver transplant. We are excited to hear him say a special word as Brittany tells us about the milestones Briggs is achieving thanks to the Gift of Life. In part 2 of Sally’s examination of personality, she analyzes Lori and Joey. What will we hear about our host’s personalities? Tune in to find out.  We honor Hero Katelyn Glenn and answer a listener’s question about a recipient contacting their donor’s family. All that and more on episode 43 of The Gifted Life Podcast.


Driven 2Save Lives

Release Date 10/28/2016

Show Notes: On episode 42 of The Gifted Life Podcast our hosts catch up with Sue Finkam and Kit Werbe from Indiana Donor Network to learn more about the Driven 2 Save Lives campaign. IndyCar Racer, Stefan Wilson is driven by his passion to honor his brother and Hero, Justin Wilson. He connected with IDN to bring education about Donate Life to the eyes of 400,000 race fans during the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500. The number of people reached by this campaign will astound you! Next our hosts talk with a heart recipient, 23-year-old Dylan Sepulvado. Hear about his journey to transplant, and how 13 years with the Gift of a heart from a Hero changed his life in powerful ways. Sally opens a discussion about personalities with Lori and Joey. Learn more about the development of a personality and how it adapts to environments. Kelly Theriot is our honored Hero, the hosts answer a question about sharing a family’s words to pay tribute to Heroes, and a special duo leave a message to celebrate their Hero Mickey Fazio. All right here on episode 42 of The Gifted Life Podcast.


Keenen Shields.JPG

Release Date 10/14/2016

Show Notes: Episode 41 of The Gifted Life Podcast is a flashback episode where you get to hear more from participants at the 2016 Transplant Games of America. Lori introduces us to 3 team members from Team Australia. Hear about Team Australia’s trip to America and how the games differ from the games in their country! We also hear from a cornea recipient, Bree. It’s her first trip to the games. Lori catches up with the Transplant House of Cleveland to learn about their work bringing comfort to recipients and their families. Recipient Toni details what it felt like to win a silver medal and it’s all because someone said YES to organ, eye & tissue donation. The Gifted Life Podcast team also talks to Michael, a previous podcast guest from episode 28. He is a heart recipient and competitor who is living life to the fullest 25 years after his transplant. Our hosts honor Hero Byron “Beau” McDowell by reading a submission from his devoted wife and answer a question about blood types and donation. All these remarkable stories and more on episode 41 of The Gifted Life Podcast.


Podcast

Release Date 9/30/2016

Show Notes: We have a round of special in-studio guests and even a guest host in Episode 40 of The Gifted Life Podcast. Kirsten Heintz takes hold of the microphone to join Joey and Sally for this episode where AATB, American Association of Tissue Banks, delegates have teamed up with The Gifted Life crew to provide remarkable stories about the healing power of tissue donation. First we welcome Erin Morton from RTI Donor Services to learn about tissue donor Mike Erickson and one of his recipients Colin Lepley. Then our hosts welcome Colleen Kilkenny of Allosource to tell us about donor Garrett Brockway from Iowa. Learn about Garrett's Path and how 10-year-old Garrett changed the path of others when his parents said YES to organ, eye and tissue donation. Mary Beth Aubry from Community Tissue Services follows to talk about tissue recipient Brittany and her journey from a knee injury to a healed knee, thanks to a Gift from someone very special to her. The Gifted Life team welcomes Blake Smith, Tissue Manager with LOPA, to discuss how donors are honored prior to tissue recovery. This episode’s honored Hero is Thomas Gray, submitted by his mom Sarah Gray. Learn how Thomas has a life everlasting through donation and a listener’s question about tissue donation is answered right here on episode 40 of The Gifted Life Podcast.


Transplant Games

Release Date 9/16/2016

Show Notes: Episode 39 of The Gifted Life Podcast takes us on a journey back to the 2016 Transplant Games of America in Cleveland. The podcast team shares stories and interviews from the trip. We hear from Marilyn with Lifeline of Ohio. Learn about what the games have done to boost donation awareness and registrations for Ohio. Then Lori talks to Mrs. Peanut, a mascot for Team Georgia! Mrs. Peanut is cheering for her team and son-in-law, Joe. Joe received a heart 20 years ago from a special Hero. Lung recipient Mike, from Team Georgia, talks to the podcast crew about his experience taking part in the games and then Lori catches up with the Babins from Louisiana. They share the story of their son, Blake Babin. This episode is an awesome glimpse of how organ, eye and tissue donation can change and save lives. Plus, Sally tells us more about children and grief. Our hosts answer a listener’s question and honor Hero Bobby Nation. All right here on episode 39 of The Gifted Life.


Podcast

Release Date 9/02/2016

Show Notes: Episode 38 of The Gifted Life Podcast opens with a series of guests that take us on a virtual journey to a new interactive and digital Silent Heroes Wall within Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center. Find out how the project began, listen to a description of the wall, and hear from one mother who visits often. Her son is a hero honored on the wall. Then we hear about a little Hero, Austin Rose Wiggingtion, who gave the Gift of Life through neonatal donationLOPA’s Laura LeGuin and Austin’s mom, Kelsey, join our hosts so you can learn more about the power of this special gift. Hero, Amy Fox is honored and we answer a listener’s question about bone marrow donation right here in episode 38 of The Gifted Life.


iPhone

Release Date 8/19/2016

Show Notes: Episode 37 of The Gifted Life tells you how to register as an organ, eye and tissue donor in a new way, what its like to have 30 years of life after transplant, and what it takes to help a child overcome grief. First, our hosts welcome Donate Life America President and CEO, David Fleming, to discuss an amazing new donor registration option coming to the iPhone! Learn how iPhone users, or as David says, “iPhone-ites”, can say YES when iOS 10 releases. Then, a journey back to nearly 30 years ago! Mr. Ezell Holland tells us how the gift of a kidney in 1986 changed the course of his life. Family support takes a look into assisting grieving children. Sally introduces us to Sharon Wesberry, child life specialist from Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital. Sharon shares how the staff reaches out to children who are coping with end of life events. Christopher Solomon is our honored hero, we answer a question about donating your body to science and donation, and we hear a voicemail from a podcast fan. All this and more in episode 37 of The Gifted Life.


Kevin Stump MORA

Release Date 8/05/2016

Show Notes: On episode 36 of The Gifted Life we take you on a virtual podcast journey to Mississippi! We are always learning from our partners throughout the nation. In this episode, we have a discussion with Kevin Stump.  Kevin is the CEO of MORA, the Mississippi Organ Recovery Agency. From a new building to continued education, learn all the wonderful ways MORA is working to save and heal more lives in their state. Then we talk Super Heroes! MORA’s Chuck Stinson chats with Joey, Lori and Sally to explain how Mississippi citizens are learning that “It’s Super Easy” to register as an organ, eye and tissue donor! Sally talks grieving styles and how men and women differ when faced with grief. Miracles can occur thanks to heroes. MORA shares a Hero with us from their Mississippi Miracle series. MORA Hero Chase Wroten is honored and when you ear about a picture of Chase from his high school years, you will get chills! We learn more about why transplants become necessary; thank MORA for sharing so much from Mississippi, and more on episode 36 of The Gifted Life Podcast.


AMAT

Release Date 7/22/2016

Show Notes: Episode 35 of The Gifted Life Podcast shines a spotlight on 2 national observances that focus on the need for more registered organ, eye and tissue donors in all communities. Our hosts first welcome Amanda Hollowell. She tells us about AMAT, the Association for Multicultural Affairs in Transplantation. ECHO, an acronym for Every Community Has Opportunity, and the 20th anniversary of National Minority Donor Awareness Week. Then we learn more about outreach efforts and challenges in multicultural communities when Joey, Lori and Sally introduce us to Brandi Ahonsi. Brandi is the chairperson for the AMAT African American Workgroup. Learn some great tips for reaching out and sparking discussion about organ, eye and tissue donation. Then, Sally gives us helpful guidelines for overcoming guilt and blame when we lose a loved one. Wayne Gomez is our honored hero on this episode. Wayne’s mom says, “Just knowing that part of our loved one still survives within another is somewhat, a comfort.” The Gifted Life Podcast crew covers awesome information and answers a listener’s question. This is an episode you don’t want to miss!


Transplant Games

Release Date 7/08/2016

Show Notes: In episode 34 of The Gifted Life podcast, our crew takes you on a journey back to June of 2016 for the Transplant Games of America. The games took place in Cleveland, Ohio. Hear remarkable stories from several Team Louisiana athletes! Lori chats with a couple of dynamic recipient dancers, a bowler, a basketball player, and a runner with her donor’s family. These are some of the  great stories about how life is transformed by the Gift of Life. Our hosts then honor hero, Emily Christen, and answer a listener’s question about how to find more information. You can find the Quilts on our website, along with seeing more from the Transplant Games on our podcast page or YouTube channel. Enjoy this installment and be on the lookout for more stories from the crew’s trip to Cleveland in future episodes of The Gifted Life!


Podcast

Release Date 6/24/2016

Show Notes: Episode 33 of The Gifted Life Podcast opens with a guest who has a very special story and talent, heart recipient Charles Henderson. Hear about how he came to know his Hero, David “Dudu” Cologne. When he serenades our hosts, smiles erupt! Another recipient joins us, guest Tanya Smith. She tells us how the Gift from a tissue donor changed her life forever. Sally focuses on another form of grief, complicated grief. Learn how to recognize and break out of complicated grief. Our hosts honor Hero Robert Myers from the new Quiltsection of our website, answer an important question from a listener, and more right here on episode 33 of The Gifted Life Podcast.


Transplant Games

Release Date 6/10/2016

Show Notes: Episode 32 of The Gifted Life begins by celebrating the 2016 Transplant Games of America! Joey, Lori and Sally welcome Lifebanc CEO, Gordon Bowen, and talk with him about the excitement surrounding the games in Cleveland. Then, an in-studio visit by athletes bound for Cleveland! Team Louisiana co-captain and Olympic Gold Medalist, Kim Black, plus athletes Tyrone Cooper and Warren Whittington chat about what it means to go for the gold in Ohio and how it honors the Gift of Life they have been given. Sally opens a discussion about coping with grief in the workplace by asking Joey to share his experience. Learn some resources, and how hobbies can be a viable coping mechanism. Our hosts honor hero, Carl LaPoint, and an answer a listener’s question about registering as an organ, eye and tissue donor. All that and more, right here on episode 32 of The Gifted Life.


Podcast

Release Date 5/27/2016

Show Notes: In episode 31, The Gifted Life is sharing how stories about the power of organ, tissue, and eye donation reach communities in unique ways. Our hosts first welcome LSU graduate, Kaitlyn King. Kaitlyn was a member of 225 Communications in an LSU marketing class. Hear how the group plastered their campus with information and facts to register more donors! Sally, Joey and Lori also speak with the parents of a sweet baby boy, and hero, John Clarke Perry. 1 heart + 2 young sons + 4 loving and faith-filled parents = countless lives being changed by John Clarke forever. Then, Sally tells you about the history of donor Quilts, and how it’s one of the special ways that families can honor their hero. We honor hero Dustin Gordon. We answer a question and play a message from another pair of listeners who have a heart-warming story of love, and it’s all right here on episode 31 of The Gifted Life.


Elling Eidbo

Release Date 5/13/2016

Show Notes: In episode 30 we have a special in-studio guest, a recipient tells her story and more! First up, we welcome Elling Eidbo, CEO of the Association of Organ Procurement Organizations (AOPO). Hear all about AOPO’s beginnings, standards, advocacy and how they assist Organ Procurement Organizations throughout the nation. It’s all part of AOPO’s mission and vision. Sally then introduces us to Fran Johnson, a liver recipient. Listen close as Fran shares her experience releasing a butterfly in honor of her donor and with her donor’s family. It’s very moving. Our hosts honor hero, Mike Dowty by reading the beautiful words written by his daughter. Joey answers a listener’s question. Lori and Sally talk to a recipient, Wendy Lipsey, fresh off the stage. Wendy kicked up her heels in honor of her second chance at life. All here on episode 30 of The Gifted Life.


Blue and Green Day

Release Date 4/29/2016

Show Notes: It’s episode 29 of The Gifted Life podcast! Joey, Lori and Sally round out the celebration of National Donate Life Month. From April 1st through the 31st every state in the USA celebrates the Gift of Life. Listen to this “best of” episode covering National Donate Life Month with a series of sound bites. The Gifted Life team visited multiple Donate Life flag raising ceremonies, the Donor Memorial Picnic, and other celebrations. Hear what donation means to the people touched by the Gift of Life, and why it’s so important to register as an organ, eye & tissue donor. Donate Life America’s Melissa Devenny has a special message, families honor their loved ones, recipients honor their second chance at life, we honor Hero Heidi Johnson, and we are especially honored to share all these remarkable stories with you here on episode 29 of The Gifted Life podcast.


Heart

Release Date: 4/15/2016

Show Notes: It’s National Blue and Green Day and episode 28 of The Gifted Life podcast continues to celebrate National Donate Life Month. Need ideas for going blue and green today? Joey, Lori and Sally have some creative ways for you to show off blue and green, you may even win a prize! Then, Jessica Roth with LifeGift in Texas shares a family’s amazing story about both a new life and giving the Gift of Life. Sally grabs the microphone to introduce us to a young man and recipient, Michael Davidson, so you can hear his experience living with his gift. Michael received a new heart, remarkably, 25 years ago. A mother says, “peace and comfort through donation” as our hosts honor hero, Kelly Thrash. A listener’s question is answered, a little boy excitedly tells his mom how he can be just like his Uncle Justin, and learn more about registering as an organ, eye & tissue donor on episode 28 of The Gifted Life.


Blue and Green Day

Release Date: 4/01/2016

Show Notes: Episode 27 of The Gifted Life podcast kicks off National Donate Life Month! In April, we honor donor heroes, their families and the lives saved by those generous donors. Our hosts are joined by Melissa DeVenny from Donate Life America to talk about the work their agency does throughout the nation, National Blue and Green Day and how the beautiful sunflower is this year’s beacon for Donate Life awareness. Suzanna Morton, LOPA Community Educator, shares her excitement for Ryan’s Run 5k. Sally, Joey and Lori have a great discussion about how laughter can assist in times of grief. Then our hosts tell you more about the inspiration for Ryan’s Run 5k, hero Ryan Viator. A listener’s question is answered, our hosts highlight a plethora of information for National Donate Life Month, hear from the son of a recipient who celebrates his mom’s second chance at life, and why it’s important to tell everyone about registering as an organ, eye & tissue donor. Enjoy and share this episode, number 27 of The Gifted Life.


Eye Donor Month

Release Date: 3/18/2016

Show Notes: The Gifted Life podcast continues to focus on National Eye Donor Month. Our hosts are joined by Billy Buras, Executive Director of the Southern Eye Bank. Hear about Southern Eye Bank’s annual event to honor cornea donors and their families during this national observance. What do you say to yourself? Sally talks about ways to enhance your inner positivity in the Family Support segment. The LeBleu Family, and their 4 beautiful girls are our honored heroes. Then, Joey answers a listener’s question so you can learn more about tissue banks and their role in the donation process. Plus, Lori lets you listen as she chats with a sweet 8 year old girl who has an important message for us all. All that and more in episode 26 of The Gifted Life.


Eye Donor Month

Release Date: 3/04/2016

Show Notes: The Gifted Life podcast: It's our 25th episode! Joey, Lori and Sally reminisce about past episodes, the amazing guests, and how the podcast has grown to reach individuals across the globe. Plus, it is National Eye Donor Month! Our hosts let you listen in on a conversation they had with the Eye Bank Association of America’s President & CEO, Kevin Corcoran. Learn more about cornea donation and the Association’s work throughout the nation. Then, Sally talks about honoring all Heroes that say YES to donation in our Family Support segment. Our hosts tell you about Dustin Mason in our favorite part of the podcast "Honoring a Hero”, and a volunteer calls our hotline to leave a message for all listeners. All right here in episode 25 of The Gifted Life.


Dean Kappel

Release Date: 2/19/2016

Show Notes: The Gifted Life podcast launches with a focus on quality performance in organ and tissue recovery. Joey and Lori welcome guest, Dean Kappel, CEO at Mid-America Transplant Services. Dean talks about MTS and the organization’s journey to earning the Malcolm Baldridge National Quality Award. Family Support expert, Sally Gentry, concludes the three-part series on suicide as she welcomes Dr. Frank Campbell to have a discussion about post-vention and reaching out to people affected by a suicide. He talks about the LOSSteam and how they can make an incredible impact for a family that is coping with suicide. Our hosts honor Hero Connor Marcel and answer a listener’s question. All that and more in episode 24 of The Gifted Life.


Swipe for Organ Donation

Release Date: 2/05/2016

Show Notes: In episode 23 of The Gifted Life podcast, Joey and Lori begin with an interesting news story about a very popular mobile app that is allowing users to swipe and register to save a life. Community Educator, Lana Stevens, joins us in the studio to talk about the Marsh Mad Dash for Life, and how much fun you can have by signing up to take part. Our family support expert, Sally Gentry, continues with part 2 of her informative series on suicide. A powerful segment that is all about coping as Robert Boone joins us to talk about his son, Don Boone. Our hosts wrap up episode 23 honoring hero, Rixby LeBeouf, and answering a listener’s question. Sit back, learn more and enjoy episode 23 of The Gifted Life.


The Wish

Release Date: 1/22/2016

Show Notes: In episode 22 of The Gifted Life podcast, Joey and Lori are excited to welcome director Ty Manns. He is a movie-making partner of Donate Life America. His movie is The Wish - A Story of Hope, Faith and Generosity. This movie is a beautiful love story that educates about organ donation. You can learn more about the movie and where you’ll be able watch it this year. Family services coordinator, Sally Gentry, joins our hosts to begin a 3 part series discussing suicide. Learn some of the myths and misconceptions, plus resources to access when in need. Hero, Kelly Johnson, is honored and Sally takes the microphone to answer a listener’s question. All that and more on this episode of The Gifted Life.


LSU Core Communications

Release Date: 1/08/2016

Show Notes: Episode 21 of The Gifted Life podcast includes a treat for all of our listeners! Our LSU student advocates for donation become our guest hosts! These award-winning students are members of Core Communications, a student run marketing firm at LSU. Lori welcomes you all and then Dominique, Alex, and Savannah grab the microphones to talk about their experiences in learning and promoting donation. Hear all about the events hosted by Core Communications and a conversation with their professor, Jinx Broussard. Past students also call in. It’s an awesome episode packed with ideas that you can use to promote organ, eye & tissue donation in your community. Hero Christopher Gregory is honored and much more in episode 21 of The Gifted Life.