Everybody finds different ways to deal with loss, for Harold Mendenhall of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., coping came in the form of blood donations.
Mendenhall began giving blood when his wife Frankie was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1977, reports the Palm Beach Post. She died seven years later, followed by the death of two of their five children.
Mendenhall says he felt lost and began donating up to 40 pints of blood a year; he just reach the 100-gallon mark. Given that a human body contains between one and two gallons of blood, Mendenhall is a veritable blood factory.
"For some reason, I'm still here and I'm grateful," he said. "That's one of the reasons I keep donating."
Mendenhall's contributions are especially appreciated because he donates platelets, the small cell components that are involved in clotting. Platelet donors can donate more blood, more frequently.
According to the Post, Mendenhall visits the blood bank two times a month.
"Giving blood can only be done by a human being, so that’s been my payback for my career and my good health and all the blessings I’ve had,” Mendenhall said.
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