Joining the 100-gallon club


The Energizer Bunny’s got nothing on Carroll Sharp of Jacksonsville, who, since the late 1960s, has been going and going and going … to donate blood. As the Florida Times-Union and First Coast News report, all that donating has earned him a spot as the newest member of The Blood Alliance at Mayo Clinic's "100-gallon Club." Sharp is just the fourth member of the distinguished club, whose members all have donated (you guessed it) at least 100 gallons of blood in their lifetimes. Sharp's milestone pint was donated last week at The Blood Alliance at Mayo Clinic in Florida.

First Coast News writes that Sharp, a patient escort volunteer at Mayo Clinic in Florida since March 2012, rolled up his sleeve and made his first donation in the late 1960s while living in Louisville, Ky., and then kept things going after moving to Jacksonville in 1976. He started by donating blood and then offered his platelets, too, after Mayo Clinic staff encouraged him to do so during a visit to the Blood Donation Center. That led to more than 550 platelet donations. And not only that, he's also been identified as a human leukocyte antigen match for several patients over the years, helping to reduce their risk of blood transfusion rejections.

Knowing he's helped patients, Sharp says, has been more than enough to numb any discomfort he may have felt while donating. "The stick that you get with a needle is just a small pain," he tells First Coast News. "But you know you're helping someone."

That's quite an understatement, however, when you do the math. Thankfully, First Coast News did that for us. If a single pint can save three lives, as Odette Struys of The Blood Alliance tells the paper, and there are eight pints in a gallon, Sharp's 100 gallons may have helped as many as 2,400 of his fellow human beings. Not too shabby if you ask us. But if you ask Sharp, he'll likely tell you it's all in a day's work. "I'm humbled that I'm able to do it," he tells First Coast News. "It makes me feel good to know that I have helped that many people."

If you haven't experienced the wonders of donating blood, you can start by learning about the donation process and then scheduling an appointment in Arizona, Florida or Rochester, or your favorite Mayo Clinic Health System site.

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