Giving From the Heart
Harold Mendenhall, 84 years old, has achieved the rare feat of donating 100 gallons of blood. How you say? It started when Mr. Mendenhall’s wife had been diagnosed with cancer. On July 7th, 1977 he donated his first pint of blood. An RN at St. Mary’s Medical Center, his wife Frankie, was on an IV team. He felt as though it was a way to honor her. He lost Frankie to cancer seven years later.
Harold Mendenhall also lost two sons due to complications from various unnamed disabilities. They were 47 and 53. Harold always felt helpless in his inability to save his family. He began donating blood to help cope with his losses. He felt that this was his way to help others, possibly saving lives.
Mendenhall was quoted as saying “For some reason, I am still here and I’m grateful. That’s one of the reasons I keep donating.”
The benefits to giving faithfully every two weeks are the blood pressure monitoring and the 13 other tests that are administered to those that donate. Other benefits to donating include coupons for free meals at surrounding restaurants.
Mendenhall has donated 6 gallons of blood a year, 2 pints every two weeks. Instead of whole blood, Mr. Mendenhall donates blood platelets which allow him to donate more frequently than whole blood donors. Donating blood platelets helps to treat patients with blood related cancers such as leukemia. These illnesses require frequent blood platelet transfusions.
This blood donor from Riviera Beach has given 100 gallons in 35 years
100 Gallons of Blood Given By 84-Year-Old