JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Not too many people in the United States can say they have donated 100 gallons of blood, but this week a Jacksonville grandfather reached that milestone.
Kelly Williams, now 59-years-old, was just 17 when he donated blood for the first time at Fletcher High.
"I was donating blood at 17, first time just to get out of class at school and following in my father's footsteps because he was a blood donor," recalled Williams.
Fast forward to 1992: William's son who was 13 at the time had open heart surgery and had to have three units of blood from three different donors.
"It dawned on me at that time that three different people that I had never met, probably would never know who they were, donated blood and saved my son's life. After that I decided I'm going to do the same for somebody else."
His son, Troy, is now married and the father or two. Ever since his surgery Williams has donated blood twice a month at the Blood Alliance. He still wears the watch he was given when he reached 20 gallons.
Thursday, he reached a goal he has had ever since started this journey more than 40 years ago.
"This was my plaque for 100 gallons. They also gave me a license tag that says 100 gallons on it so when you see this on someone's car you know how many gallons they've given. They gave me an autographed football from the Jaguars which I thought was really cool."
100 gallons of blood is enough to help more than 2,000 people, and that's why he says he gives.
"The thing you need to remember is when a person receives blood they just don't do it because they enjoy it. That's for sure. They are in a bad situation. They have to have blood to exist. So you've saved somebody's life when you give it."
Even though he has reached his goal of donating 100 gallons, he has no plans of stopping now.
"I wouldn't stop for anything. I'll go as long as my health allows me to," said Williams.
First Coast News has teamed up with the Blood Alliance all week long as part of its "Resolutions for Life" blood drive and we have collected nearly 700 pints of blood.
To see where you can donate Saturday check out the First Coast News Facebook page or click here.
First Coast News