South Florida man has saved 864 lives after donating 100 gallons of blood over 43 years

A South Florida man could be considered a blood relative to hundreds of residents.

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For 43 years, James Michelini has donated blood and blood platelets. He has donated 100 gallons of blood, which in turn has saved 864 people, TCPalm reported.

Michelini, 73, of Port St. Lucie, goes to a OneBlood donation in nearby Stuart every other Wednesday, donating blood platelets, the website reported.

"I went down there one day, on my first time, and for some reason I just kept going," Michelini told TCPalm. "It turned into my job, going every couple of weeks and donating.

“I didn’t think I’d make it (to 100 gallons).”

Michelini's donating began in 1976 while he was living in Connecticut. He initially set a goal of 10 gallons but he passed that milestone years ago. Michelini had already donated 35 gallons by the time he moved to Port St. Lucie in 2006, TCPalm reported.

A pint of blood can save up to three lives, while a platelet donation is generally limited to one patient, the website reported.

One hundred gallons of donated blood is a staggering amount.

"That's hundreds of people who have been affected,” Michelini said. "It feels really good, like you’re a little bit of a lifesaver. I’m going to continue as long as I’m healthy."

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