Radio host's 100th blood donation leads to thoughts of WNC heroes from Bowen to Blanton

Radio host Bill McClement is known for the gift of gab, but his most life-saving pursuit is contributing the gift of life.

Last Wednesday, he donated his 100th pint of blood.

The Red Cross says while thousands of people from across the country have responded to the urgent call for blood and platelet donations, severe weather has prolonged the emergency need. Donors of all types are needed, but there's a critical need for Type O blood donors.

All eligible donors are urged to make an appointment to give as soon as possible by using the Blood Donor App, visiting or calling 1-800-RED-CROSS.

"It's great to have you along for Asheville's only daily local sports talk show," Pat Ryan said during their afternoon Wise Guys show on ESPN Asheville 1310 AM.

If it's true you shouldn't judge a book by its cover, then you probably shouldn't judge a radio host by his three hours a day on the air.

"They can wave all the money at you, but you've still gotta recruit!" McClement said on the air last week, while debating who they think is the best coach in college basketball. "At the end of the day, it's how many wins did you get? How many championships did you get?"

On the radio, the duo sometimes recommends taking one game at a time, but it's hard not to look forward to a win-win situation.

"You're giving something that can not be made in a factory," he explained.

It happens every few months at the Mountain Area Red Cross chapter on Edgewood Rd. in Asheville.

"Now, she's siphoned me a lot," he said to a nurse.

"Stop that -- you make us sound like vampires!" she responded.

After two decades of giving blood at the Mountain Area Red Cross Chapter, this unit that McClement is donating is quite a milestone.

"You know, it's the one that comes after 99 and before 101," he said.

Colleague Pat Ryan is in awe of Bill's 100th.

"To me, it just blows me away that there's 100-plus people in Asheville that have a little Bill McClement in them," Ryan said.

"The paperwork actually takes longer than the donation," Bill said.

"Alright, you're doing good," the nurse assured him.

Making a sign is the least they could do to mark the occasion.

"Not enough of the population donates," he said, holding a board with the words "My 100th Pint! #GiveNow."

Bill took a moment to think about people he knows with health issues and those who passed away.

"Trooper Blanton who was shot killed in the line of duty," he said. "And Trooper Taylor and Cogdill, and Captain Jeff Bowen from the fire department. You know, they all died serving this community, and I usually think of people like that when I do this because this is not heroic. What they do is heroic."