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Matt Malone: Blood Recipient, Blood Donor, Radio Host

Sitting in front of a hanging microphone, the blue glow of a computer screen lit up Matt Malone’s face as he clicked through music software. It’s nothing new for the radio host, who’s been speaking to audiences and playing country music tunes for 11 years. What’s new is the venue: 97.5 Y-Country in southwest Michigan, where he started in October, as well as the community cause he now supports: Michigan Blood.

“Any organization like Michigan Blood that’s helping people in our area…I want to help with that,” said Matt.

The radio host knows full well the need for blood – he was born premature and needed blood transfusions; his mom, who died when he was only 10 years old, had needed blood transfusions after a teen cancer diagnosis; and a regular listener once called in to tell Matt about her own blood needs.

“One of my first listeners when I got here ended up getting breast cancer,” he recalled, “I went to visit, and she needed blood transfusions…and it hit home. The blood was donated three days ago, and it was being used. The need is there.”

Since starting his job at 97.5 Y-Country, Matt’s regularly pushed for listeners to donate blood. On more than one occasion, he used Facebook live to show his own donation process. He’s also worked closely with Michigan Blood on special projects for local schools, and helped to give away gift cards to lucky blood donors who gave during the promotion.

“I never want to be in the position where I need blood, but didn’t help beforehand,” said Matt, “If I didn’t have people who donated blood [when I was born], I probably wouldn’t be alive.”

As for the people who don’t want to donate blood because of their own fear or discomfort, the radio host gave his take:

“People don’t really like needing blood. People don’t like getting cancer. Your temporary discomfort is saving lives – you never know when you’ll be in a position to need it, too, and you’ll hope someone donated for you.”