One thing KLOU radio personality Judi Diamond realized as she watched her beloved sister Shana valiantly battle cancer was that, without blood donated by strangers, her sister’s pain would be much worse – and her life would have been much shorter.
“Transfusions made it possible for my sister to get some relief after multiple chemotherapy treatments, and even though she suffered for 12 years, she lived seven years longer than the doctors had predicted,” Judi Diamond recalled. “Donated blood also made it possible for my dad, David, to survive quadruple bypass surgery.”
That’s why the upbeat, free-spirited Diamond, who calls herself a “professional emoter and a non-professional procrastinator,” jumped at the chance to wage a Border Blood Battle against KLOU Radio co-host Billy Greenwood. Long-time St. Louis resident Diamond is challenging Metro East resident Greenwood to see which state’s residents will donate the most blood at centers on Feb.6; Feb. 8 and Feb. 10.
Diamond is committed to helping St. Louis Metro Area organizations like the Red Cross, the YMCA, Girl Scouts and many others as a passionate supporter of her adopted hometown. In 2008, she followed her then-husband to St. Louis as a mother with young children. Leo, now 22, is earning a master’s degree at Boston University studying to be a composer, and Shira, 25, is now a lawyer in Los Angeles.
Los Angeles was home to Diamond whose grandparents started in vaudeville in England but ended up as public relations pros in Hollywood. Actress Dorothy Lamour encouraged them to come to the United States, where they became publicists for Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole and Sammy Davis, among many others. Their 20-year-old son David met Diamond’s mother Rita on a bus in Los Angeles. “My mom was a Jewish cowgirl from Wyoming who was charmed by my dad’s English accent,” Diamond said.
Initially Diamond followed in the family business studying acting, writing for Comedy Central and doing voice work for commercials. She also was a polished painter of murals.
“But when I got divorced, I needed to make a living in St. Louis so I taught myself how to shoot and edit video,” she recalled. That led to a show called “LipsticknLaundry.”
“We became the first mommy video bloggers to show what is was like being a real mom—not a perfect mom,” Diamond recalled. “We had a couple of million views but were not making any money.” The money came when the show was picked up by Viacom and aired over two years and 26 episodes on Nick Jr.
When that ended, Diamond decided her skills as an actress could translate to radio. She joined WIL-Radio in St. Louis and except for an 18-month stint in Rockford, IL, in 2018-2019, has been in the St. Louis radio world. In 2019, Diamond became a host on KLOU and is broadcast both locally and by radio stations in multiple cities.
“What I do is connect with listeners by sharing my life stories,” she added. “Radio is more than just music—it is about connection and building a community. In the end, I just want to make someone’s day better.”
HOW YOU CAN HELP: The Red Cross needs donors because every two seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood. It is essential for surgeries, cancer treatment, chronic illnesses, and traumatic injuries. Whether a patient receives whole blood, red cells, platelets or plasma, this lifesaving care starts with one person making a generous donation.
To make an appointment for the Border Blood Battle simply download the Red Cross Blood Donor App or visit RedCrossBlood.org and enter sponsor code TEAMJUDI or TEAMBILLY, or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enable the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device to make an appointment or for more information.
The Border Blood Battle Is happening at the following locations, times and dates:
Team Judy Missouri locations are: