LAKE PARK, Fla. -

A Palm Beach County man has reached a rare milestone. He's donated 100 gallons of blood.

The Palm Beach Post reports Harold Mendenhall, 84, started giving blood on July 7, 1977. Last month, he logged his 100th gallon.

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 six gallons a year.

He's especially coveted because he donates blood platelets.

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

There are other benefits to blood donation -- the blood bank offers coupons for free meals at area restaurants.