An 84-year-old Florida man this week reached the rare milestone of having donated 100 gallons of blood over the past 36 years.
According to a Palm Beach Post report, the man, named Harold Mendenhall, began donating blood in July of 1977. Since that time, 100 gallons of his O-positive type blood have been donated. Mendhall reportedly began donating when his wife, a nurse, was diagnosed with breast cancer.
It might seem that Mendenhall could easily qualify for the record for most blood donated. The current Guinness World Record for blood donation belongs to another Florida man, John Sheppard of Fort Meyers. Sheppard donated 315 whole blood units, or around 30 to 40 gallons.
Mendenhall does not qualify for the record, however, as he does not donate whole blood. Instead, the Post reports that he donates platelets. The process involves putting Mendenhall's blood through a machine that separates out the blood platelets, and returns the remainder to Mendenhall's body. This type of donation has allowed Mendenhall to donate two pints of blood at a time, and means he only has to wait two weeks between donations, rather than the nearly two months whole blood donors have to wait.