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Florida man donates 100 gallons of blood

Thursday - 5/30/2013, 6:41pm  ET

LAKE PARK, Fla. (AP) -- A South Florida man has reached a rare milestone, being credited with donating 100 gallons of blood.

The Palm Beach Post (http://bit.ly/10JVcwN) reports 84-year-old Harold Mendenhall started giving blood on July 7, 1977. Last month, he was credited his 100th gallon.

OneBlood, the Florida blood bank where Mendehall donates, concedes that he didn't actually donate 100 gallons of blood, but platelets, a blood product.

Platelet donors like Mendenhall get credit for donating two pints every time they give at most blood banks, said Susan Forbes, OneBlood's spokeswoman. In that two-hour procedure -- about eight times longer than donating a pint of whole blood -- more than a gallon of a donor's blood is processed but less than pint is kept, Forbes said. Platelet doors can also give 24 times per year, compared to about six times for whole blood.

Mendenhall started donating blood when his wife, Frankie, was diagnosed with breast cancer. When she died seven years later, Mendenhall says he was lost. He stopped by the blood bank on his way home from work. Soon he was donating regularly.

Mendenhall says giving blood helped him cope with the loss of his wife and, later, two sons.

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Information from: The Palm Beach (Fla.) Post, http://www.pbpost.com


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