Not many people can say they’ve done something that had the potential to save 864 lives. But James Michelini can. He’s been donating blood for 43 years, and recently reached a major milestone, donating his 100th gallon of blood.
“I went down there one day, on my first time, and for some reason I just kept going,” Michelini told TCPalm.com. “It turned into my job, going every couple of weeks and donating.” Michelini, who is 73, lives in Port St. Lucie, FL. He started donating blood decades ago when he lived in Connecticut, and continued after he moved to Florida where he donates whole blood and platelets. Platelets help stop bleeding and are crucial for cancer patients.
Michelini is truly a lifesaver. Consider these facts:
- Someone needs blood every 2 seconds and platelets every 15 seconds
- 4.5 million Americans need a blood transfusion each year
- One pint of whole blood can save up to three lives (a platelet donation typically goes to one patient since it’s blood type-specific and lasts only 5 days)
- 100 gallons of blood=864 lives saved
“That’s hundreds of people who have been affected,� Michelini acknowledged about his staggering donation amount. “It feels really good, like you�re a little bit of a lifesaver. I�m going to continue as long as I�m healthy.” We hope he stays healthy — and donating — for many years to come!
As a blood donor myself, I can tell you that donating blood is quick, easy, not at all scary, and you’ll feel great knowing you helped someone else. My secret tip? Look away when they’re inserting the needle, and think about the people you’re helping!
Now is a great time to give, since blood bank supplies tend to run low during the holidays. Here some options that let you find a location near you by plugging in your zip code:
- The American Red Cross. Click here to find a donation drive near you.
- Vitalant is a non-profit organization with 125 blood donation locations nationwide. Click here to find out if there’s one near you.
- One Blood (where Mr. Michelini donates) has locations in Florida, Georgia and North and South Carolina. Click here to find a donor center near you.