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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.

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We have entertaining and informative conversations about organ, tissue and eye donation & transplantation. Over 114,000 people are currently waiting for a life saving transplant. Our goal is to raise awareness about the need for the life saving gifts of organ, tissue & eye donation. You can help. Register as a donor at Share this podcast with your family and friends. Share your inspiring stories with us or give us a call at (504) 648-3477.
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Release Date: 9/13/2019

Show Notes: We welcome guests, Tyler Brignac from North Oaks Health System & Lana Stevens from LOPA into our studio for episode 117. Hear how partnering with like minded organizations and getting grassroots in communities can serve a collective goal, saving more lives. Learn all about Operation Life 5K and Play It Safe. We take a mental health break to get tips for finding our purpose, honor hero Dominic Patton and answer a listener’s question here on The Gifted Life Podcast.


Release Date: 8/30/2019

Show Notes: What kind of funeral services can a family plan following their loved one’s donation? Can our family schedule a viewing and open casket funeral? Questions we often hear. We welcome Brian Water and Ryan Ballard, the hosts of Undertaking: The Podcast, for an open discussion about the funeral director’s role and what memorial services can be possible following donation. We take a mental health moment to talk about empathy vs. sympathy, honor hero Misty Davis and answer one of your questions all here on episode 116 of The Gifted Life Podcast.


Release Date: 8/16/2019

Show Notes: How do you explain the gift of donation to a child? On episode 115 we welcome author, Brenda Cortez. Brenda created the character, Howl the Owl, after giving the gift of life through living kidney donation. Hear all about her series of books aimed at helping adults explain donation and transplantation to children. Then we take a mental health moment to share tips for helping children relax, honor hero Emily Simmers, and answer a listener’s question about registering as an organ, tissue and eye donor, all here on The Gifted Life Podcast.


Release Date: 8/02/2019

Show Notes: On episode 114, advancements in the use of donated bone marrow is not only saving lives, but may also be the key to decreasing or eliminating rejection for organ transplant recipients. Remarkable studies are being conducted by Ossium Health, and we welcome co-founder and CEO, Kevin Caldwell, to learn how organ donors are contributing to marrow availability. We take a mental health moment to share techniques for relaxation, honor hero Jarred Brown and throw our intern, Rebecca Ranum, into the guest chair, all here on The Gifted Life Podcast.

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Release Date: 7/19/2019

Show Notes: On episode 113 we welcome Nina Martinez, the first person living with HIV to become a lifesaver through living donation. Learn how this remarkable medical milestone came to fruition. Then TGL podcast veteran, Dr. Christine Durand, joins us for an update on how the HOPE Act has changed the landscape for those waiting on a second chance at life through organ donation. We learn tips about practicing gratitude, share a resource for using preferred language to address people living with HIV and honor hero Randy Parent on this episode of The Gifted Life Podcast.

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Release Date: 7/05/2019

Show Notes: On episode 112 a listener’s call inspires us to ask questions about heart diseases that lead to transplant, specifically, cardiomyopathy. Dr. Daniel Morin from Ochsner Medical Center helps us get to the heart of the matter, explaining how the disease develops. We take a moment for mental health to offer tips for introducing mindfulness into your day, and honor hero Chloe Esquivel, right here on The Gifted Life Podcast.

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Release Date: 6/21/2019

Show Notes: Talking about your personal grief and the process of recovery following a loss can often be isolating and quiet. We welcome Grief Out Loud podcast host, Jana DeCristofaro from The Dougy Center to learn how they are using this medium to help open up the conversation about grief. Then we have tips for self care and share an assessment worksheet, honor hero Doug Colston and answer a listener’s question here on episode 111 of The Gifted Life Podcast.


Release Date: 6/07/2019

Show Notes: A crucial aspect of kidney transplantation is aftercare by way of immunosuppressive medications. We talk with kidney recipient, Monica Fox, and transplant surgeon, Dr. Matthew Cooper, to learn about a campaign called Honor the Gift. They are hoping to engage Congress and solve problems with Medicare coverage limits. Sara Blakemore talks to us about traumatic grief. Monica Fox rejoins us to share the story of her hero, Milton Powell, and we answer your question, all here on episode 110 of The Gifted Life Podcast.


Release Date: 5/24/2019

Show Notes: On The Gifted Life Podcast we welcome two dynamic LOPA Community Educators, Sheron Raymond and Cheryl McGee-Hills, to a lively discussion about why grassroots education is so important to them. Learn what led them to LOPA, the philosophy behind their passion for spreading awareness and how they adjust their strategy year after year when tackling myths about organ, tissue and eye donation. Sally identifies pitfalls and tips for conquering boredom. Britney Segura is the hero honored this episode and we answer a listener’s question.

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Release Date: 5/10/2019

Show Notes: Creativity and commitment to wasting no organ produces a domino effect in saving lives. On episode 108, we welcome Dr. John Seal from Ochsner Health System to learn all about domino liver transplantation and how the procedure works. Then Sara Blakemore, Family Advocate for LOPA, joins us to share tips for combating our inner critic. We honor hero, Carter Litrette, and answer one of your questions about organ, tissue and eye donation. If you would like to see a video of the two patient’s Dr. Seal discusses, click here.

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Release Date: 4/26/2019

Show Notes: Imagine the gravity of hearing these words from your child’s neurosurgeon, “Your daughter has suffered irreversible brain damage. She is not responding to pain. She is legally brain dead.” How do you begin to move on? We chat with donor mom, Susan Miller, whose book, Permission To Thrive, aims at helping others by sharing her grief journey following the loss of her 14-year-old daughter. Sally offers tips to decipher the difference between narcissistic and self-centered behaviors. Then our guest Susan honors her daughter by telling us all about her hero Laura Miller here on episode 107.


Release Date: 4/12/2019

Show Notes: On episode 106 we are talking about aviation and transplantation. Indiana Donor Network launched its own aviation division, TxJet, 5 years ago to help save lives. IDN’s Chief Operating Officer, Steve Johnson, tells us why their organ procurement organization took to the skies and the innovation behind TxJet. Sally gives us tips for dealing with grief on an everyday basis, and we honor hero Jeremi Gary right here on The Gifted Life Podcast.


Release Date: 3/29/2019

Show Notes: Imagine being a police officer, stopped at a red light towards the end of your shift, and suddenly getting hit from behind by a cab going over 100 miles per hour and your car bursting into flames! Hear Jason Schechterle’s story and how he survived thanks to tissue donation, his fellow first responders, medical staff, perseverance and determination. Sally walks us through tips for connecting with siblings during times of grief, and we honor hero, Brittany Cail, all on this episode of The Gifted Life Podcast.


Release Date: 3/15/2019

Show Notes: On episode 104, we talk about advancements in breast reconstruction following mastectomy to treat breast cancer. Nick Pashos and Billy Heim from Bio-Aesthetics join us to share information about the company’s exciting research and how tissue donors are giving new treatment options. Sally sparks a roundtable discussion about potential myths surrounding donation and how myths can negatively affect a person’s decision to register as an organ, tissue and eye donor. We honor hero Matthew Hull, and answer a listener’s question about tissue donation all on this episode of The Gifted Life Podcast.


Release Date: 3/01/2019

Show Notes: Episode 103 is an emotional story about a 13 year old boy who has to come to grips with the gravity of his situation after learning he desperately needs a new heart. Michael Kutcher, twin to television star Ashton Kutcher, joins us to share his 27 year journey to, and after, heart transplant. Hear what life has become for this staunch advocate for registering as an organ, tissue and eye donor, and how he joined the Be The Gift campaign in Tennessee. Sally sparks a lively conversation about understanding body language and we honor a hero, Mark Phillips, who has a special tie to LOPA and is shared by Donate Life Northwest.

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Release Date: 2/15/2019

Show Notes: Episode 102 is the second of our two part series about Briggs Elliser, a pediatric liver recipient. The team continues the conversation with his mom, Brittany Elliser, and this time we focus on his personal journey and the heroes who have made his life possible through organ, eye and tissue donation. Brittany introduces us to donor mom, Olivia Hoblit. Her daughter, Trinity, is one of Briggs’ heroes. We find out how the families met, and how the Hoblit family is educating others about brain aneurysms by establishing the Trinity Hoblit Foundation. Sally tells us why we like hearing our name, and we honor Roger Winchester in our hero segment.

Briggs' Story Part 1

Release Date: 2/01/2019

Show Notes: Episode 101 is the first of a two part series about Briggs Elliser, a pediatric liver recipient who was diagnosed with biliary atresia as an infant. The team talks with his mom, Brittany Elliser, and Dr. John Seal, one of the transplant surgeons on Briggs’ care team, about what happens when transplants don’t go as planned. Dr. Seal also educates us about how one liver can be used to save 2 recipients, and explains the listing process in our Q&A. Sally shares 5 things you say that may turn people off, and we honor Steve Greene in our Hero segment.


Release Date: 1/18/2019

Show Notes: It’s our 100th episode & we are going Hollywood! First, we are joined by Shireen Razack, one of the writer’s for NBC’s hit television show, New Amsterdam. She shares the behind the scenes inspiration for the show’s 7th episode, The Domino Effect. Then we welcome Tenaya Wallace, with Donate Life Hollywood, and learn more about the importance of accurate story lines in the entertainment industry. Sally holds a roundtable discussion with our hosts and LOPA’s CEO, Kelly Ranum, reflecting on how the podcast started and the impact it’s making. Then we honor our 100th hero, Kaden Caruso, and answer a listener’s question right here on The Gifted Life Podcast.


Release Date: 1/04/2019

Show Notes: Happy New Year! On episode 99 we kick off 2019 talking about ways you can control your end of life decisions. What’s a will and what’s a living will? Should I declare that I’m an organ, eye and tissue donor in a will? Our guest, estate planning attorney, Paul Rabalais, has the answers. Sally gives us tips for shifting to a new perspective. We honor hero, Alan Varnado (Puissegur), and answer a listener’s question right here on The Gifted Life Podcast.