The Tiger Gene
The Tiger Gene
The Tiger Gene℠ is a show of celebration: At the sense of wonder and mystery of being alive, taking notice of the moment as a surprise.It’s also a show of remembrance: We forget what we are capable of; individually and collectively. We get depressed. We retreat.We use the term Tiger Gene to refer to that special something inside all of us that enables us to rise up stronger than we or anyone else ever imagined we could. Remembering our Tiger Gene girds our loins when faced with adversity; which of course we all are, every day.So I invite you to join us for sixty minutes of compelling stories in a fun environment that brings together diverse people from all walks of life—to acknowledge our common DNA, affirm our essential Goodness, and empower our noblest aspirations. To pounce on life.
Ep. 14: Craig Pollard
Ever wonder what it’d be like to have the burning desire plus talent to play major league baseball—only to have cancer strike you out?  Ever wonder what it’d feel like to suffer through years of chemo and radiation, seriously compromised immunity, a near-fatal blood infection, severe inflammation of the limbs, sepsis, and gangrene—resulting in the removal of your spleen, both feet, and other body parts?Ever wonder what it’d feel like to be grateful for the nightmare—as it also led to an All-Star spouse and an experience far more fulfilling than being the next Steve Garvey: providing more than 1,400 college scholarships to other cancer survivors?If so, then you’ll love hearing the story of Craig Pollard, founder of Cancer for College, an outfit his pal (and Cancer for College Celebrity Spokesman) Will Ferrell calls “the purest charity I know."To learn how you might help advance and support the mission of Cancer for College, or if you know someone who might like to apply for financial assistance, please visit:
Nov 17, 2021
52 min
Ep. 13: Hans Florine
Ever think about how different people do different things to relax?  Ever wonder what it’d be like to not just climb the super-steep, treacherous granite Nose of El Capitan more than anyone else—well over a hundred times, but do so 30 minutes faster than it’d take you to watch The Godfather, while ensconced in a super-comfortable rocking seat with a two-gallon tub of buttered popcorn in your lap and a 64-ounce soft drink in the armrest? Ever wonder what it’d feel like to hold over a dozen speed and difficulty records, including 3 Gold medals at the X-Games—then, during one ascent in 2018, when a foothold cracked 2,100 feet up—free-fall off The Nose? If so, you’ll love our special guest this week: Hans Florine, who got his first rock-climbing rush on a boulder in a pasture in San Luis Obispo, surrounded by some curious, cud-chewing cows.Hans Florine supports the preservation of climbing areas through Access Club and American Alpine Club. In order to learn more about these organizations or donate visit and
Nov 3, 2021
1 hr 12 min
Ep. 12: David Patterson
Ever wonder what it’d be like to grow up the youngest of 20 black kids in rural Kentucky, in a four-to-one white-majority county governed by Jim Crow law; the only one in the family born in a hospital? Then be told that if you worked hard and “kept your nose clean”—you just might become assistant manager at the local Seven-Eleven? Then as the only black kid in your school—graduate Valedictorian? Then excel at a Vanderbilt undergrad and med school…collecting award after award along the way? Then go on to be one of the most sought after and respected internists in not just the Nation’s Capital but the entire country—with a Who’s Who patient list of movers and shakers?If so, you’ll love our special guest this week:David Patterson, MD, shares how overcoming adversity was the key to his success … and how he enjoys nothing more than trying to assist other young black men to embrace STEM education and overcome the many obstacles that still bedevil African-Americans.David created the Alice and V.K. Patterson Scholarship for Vanderbilt medical students, named after his parents. To learn more about the scholarship and the man behind it, visit
Oct 24, 2021
52 min
Ep. 11: Art Gilbreth
   Ever wonder what it’d feel like to crash into a violent sea—traveling at 120 mph—during a pitch-black night aboard a big old 4-engines dead or afire prop plane—560 miles from land?   Then after regaining consciousness—and with a broken back—and somehow managing to evacuate the plane—getting pulled down under the murky churning freezing sea as it sank?           Then finally freeing yourself—but gouging out a hunk of your leg in the process?   Then after enduring a seemingly unending nightmare at sea on a horribly overcrowded upside-down raft—to be winched up 200 feet in the air by a helicopter in brutal weather—only on account of the winds the rescuers can’t pull you aboard—and instead you start slipping out of the stretcher…inch by inch—and it seems hopeless?   Well if so—then you’ll enjoy hearing all about it from ex-Army paratrooper Art Gilbreth…Art’s charity is Operation Gratitude, which relies primarily on volunteerism (of time and gifts-in-kind) to support and bolster the morale of active military personnel, veterans, first responders, and their families in myriad creative ways.
Oct 21, 2021
48 min
Ep. 10: Rusty Frank
Rusty FrankEver wonder what it would be like if your whole professional life relied on full-body physical activity and then an accident broke your neck in five places? If so then you've come to the right place. Our guest today, Rusty Frank, gives insight into the thrilling lifestyle of a professional dancer and how her life was forever changed when one of her routines went "bad." Rusty Frank is an avid supporter of Planned Parenthood, especially the clinic located in San Antonio TX. To learn more about Planned Parenthood or donate to the cause, visit
Oct 7, 2021
58 min
Ep. 9: Troy Elander
Troy ElanderEven wonder what it would be like to be the doctor to some of the biggest names in Hollywood and the media? If so, you’ve come to the wrong place!Our guest today, Troy Elander does indeed have as patients some of the biggest stars and moguls—but you’ll not find him even divulging their names, let alone spilling the HIPPA beans to my fellow Chicago law grad and bad-boy TMZ founder. However, the former president of the LA medical association is even more enthralling than anything Harvey Levin has ever peddled.Welcome to The Tiger Gene!Our guest Troy Elander is an avid supporter of Orbis International and the Los Angeles County Medical Association. To learn more about what these medical associations do or to donate, visit and 
Oct 2, 2021
56 min
Ep. 8: Maritza Shelley
Ever wonder what it would feel like to be a 16-year old Jewish girl—trying not to get killed by an SS extermination squad bearing down on you from the west and countless Soviet bombs and tank shells raining down on you from the east? Ever wonder what it might feel like to be so hungry that a dead horse was really good eating?Maritza Shelley discusses this—and much moreMaritza Shelley is a supporter of The Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York City. For more information about the Museum or to find ways to support its mission visit 
Sep 26, 2021
49 min
Ep. 7: Bill Spade
Bill SpadeEver wonder what it would feel like to be blown forty feet through the air by the collapsing North Tower on 9/11? Then buried under twenty feet of rubble, gasping for air, certain you were a goner? Then surviving—only to be told that everyone else in your firehouse had not survived? Then be told that your uncle was one of the passengers on-board the plane that crash-landed in Pennsylvania, en route to the Capitol?If so, then you’ve come to the right place!Bill Spade is a supporter of The National 9/11 Memorial and Museum. To learn more about how to support the Memorial and Museum visit 
Sep 16, 2021
43 min
Ep. 6: Kristin Meekhof: Alone - Always and Never
혼자Being abandoned as an infant on the streets of Seoul was the first of two pivotal events to shape Kristin Meekhof’s life and mold her personality. Her effervescence and ability to turn tragedy into positive growth has inspired many people the world over, as an author (A Widow’s Guide to Healing), a Maria Shriver “Architect of Change,” and CNN anxiety expert during the pandemic.  Kristin’s designated charity—“that is near and dear to my heart”—is Grand Rapids Michigan-  based SLD Reading Center, which helps children with learning differences optimize their unique gifts: 
Sep 7, 2021
59 min
Ep. 5: Carmen Gentile
Talk about timely: a Taliban RPG hit Carmen in the face while he was embedded with the U.S. Army in Afghanistan; as recounted in Blindsided by the Taliban, a no-holds-barred memoir that alternates between profound tragedy and Larry David's hilarity. After reporting for The New York Times, USA Today, and CBS News, the Pittsburgh native founded and is Editor-at-Large of, a multi-platform media outlet that focuses on the complex history and future of the “Flyover” Rust Belt and Appalachia.  Carmen’s designated charity is the fund he’s set up to help an Afghan who helped him years ago—at great personal risk. The man, his wife, and their three children are at the time of this writing still outside the fence at Hamid Karzai International Airport, trying to gain entrance, and board a 5ight to The US. You can learn more about Carmen's friend and donate at 
Aug 23, 2021
1 hr 1 min
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