LifeStream blood bank honored San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon and SBCSD Det. Alex Collins at its Gift of Life Tribute, 10-Gallon Donor Celebration event Thursday, March 13 at the Hilton Garden Inn, Victorville.
The annual event salutes LifeStream donors who have donated 10 gallons or more of blood.
Sheriff McMahon was presented LifeStream’s Humanitarian of the Year award by Dr. Frederick Axelrod, LifeStream’s president, CEO and medical director. The sheriff’s department and LifeStream have a longstanding relationship; blood drives hosted by the department in recent years have collected more than 3,000 units of lifesaving blood.
“LifeStream is proud to count Sheriff John McMahon and the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department as partners in our mission,” said Dr. Axelrod in announcing the 2014 Humanitarian of the Year recipient.
“It is truly an honor to be in the presence of so many giving and caring people,” said Sheriff McMahon. “The ‘gift of life’ is what each and every donor gives, and I couldn’t be more appreciative of them.”
Sheriff McMahon granted LifeStream access to department personnel, equipment and offices to film the blood bank’s annual donor-patient video, which focuses on Det. Collins treatment, recovery and return to work after being seriously wounded in the February 2013 Big Bear manhunt.
The video is dedicated to the memory of San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Detective Jeremiah MacKay, who was mortally wounded in the ambush in which Det. Collins was wounded.
Det. MacKay’s widow, Lynette MacKay, and daughter Kaitlyn were in attendance as guests of LifeStream and Sheriff McMahon.
Following the video, Det. Collins and his wife Lila briefly addressed the 250 in attendance to thank them for their service as voluntary donors. Det. Collins required 10 units of blood during his initial treatment and subsequent recovery from his wounds.
“You are true heroes,” he told the gathering.
Also among the nearly two dozen law enforcement professionals in attendance were Capt. Sam Lucia, Victorville Police Department; and Capt. Lana Tomlin, Apple Valley Police Department.
Clayton Carmean, Helendale, the region’s top blood donor with 73 gallons at the end of 2013, received a standing ovation when introduced. Joining Carmean on stage were fellow Platinum (50 gallons or more) blood donors Daniel Thomas, Victorville (69 gallons) and Donald Hernandez, Hesperia, (55 gallons)
Desiree Harrington, Hesperia, provided a poignant moment when recognized for donating marrow twice during 2013.“It wasn’t easy,” she said of the procedures. “But, if I was called tomorrow to do it again, I’d be there.”
The Sundevil Jazz Ensemble of Apple Valley High School, under the direction of David Prince, entertained during dinner.
Event sponsors included AON Risk Solutions; Arrowhead Regional Medical Center; Barstow Community Hospital; Barstow Community Hospital Auxiliary; Blood Systems; California Steel Industries; Chino Valley Medical Center; Cintas; Crown Toyota; Desert Regional Medical Center; Haemonetics; Hi-Desert Medical Center; Loma Linda University Health; Merchants Building Maintenance, LLC; Mitchell, Silberberg & Knupp, LLP; OnTarget Promotions; Redlands Community Hospital; Security Bank; Separation Technology, Inc;, St. Joseph Health,
St. Mary Medical Center; Sunrise Ford; and Terumo BCT, Inc.
LifeStream is an independent, nonprofit local blood center founded in 1951 that provides blood products and services to more than 80 Southern California hospitals.