Our History

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A Rich, Life-Saving History:

Original blood bank building.
Original blood bank building.

June 19, 1951 Blood Bank of San Bernardino and Riverside Counties begins operations in a 6,600-square-foot building on the National Orange Show Grounds. The first Board of Directors: Fred Mack (President), Dr. Leonard Taylor (Vice President), Dr. Cecil Baisinger (Secretary), Dr. Frank Melone, William Walk, William Mulligan, Dr. Joseph Hayhurst,  Dr. Leland Hansen, George Reed.

399 Blood Bank Rd.
399 Blood Bank Rd.

BBSBRC relocates to 399 Blood Bank Road, a move that increases working space by 50 percent, to 10,000 square feet. Annual collection exceeds 25,000 units for the first time.

Riverside donor center
Riverside donor center

The Riverside Donor Center opens on a 2-acre plot of land at Indiana Avenue near Adams Street.


Pursuant to California state law, BBSBRC stops paying donors. Previously, donors were paid $10 per donation.

BBSBRC holds high school drives for the first time. The first year, 16 schools participate, sponsoring 18 drives that produce 1,623 units. During the 2010-2011 school year, 104 schools participate; annual collection is approximately 33,000 to 35,000 units.

Dr. Arthur J. Silvergleid becomes BBSBRC’s first full-time medical director.

1st apheresis machine
1st apheresis machine

The platelet apheresis program begins. In calendar year 2010, donations of plateletpheresis represented 7.25 percent of all LifeStream donations.


The San Bernardino location expands. The 5,000-square-foot addition increases lab area, expands testing and research areas, adds a conference room and space for laboratory training, a completely modernized facility for processing and storage of blood, a reference laboratory and a research laboratory.


Annual collection exceeds 50,000 units for the first time.

Ontario donor center
Ontario donor center

The Ontario Donor Center opens at Fourth Street and Vineyard Avenue.

The first 20 members of the 10-Gallon Donor Club are recognized. They blaze the trail for the now nearly 2,000 members in the club as of December 2016.

KLOS partners with BBSBRC for first blood drive.

Bus #1
Bus #1

The Lions Club International, District 4-L5, donates bloodmobile #1 after $130,000 is raised through years of fundraising dedicated to the project.


 The State of California Administrative Code is changed to allow whole blood donors to donate every 8 weeks; previously, the limit was five donations per year.

The plasma apheresis program is introduced. In calendar year 2010, donations of plasmapheresis represented 1.82 percent of all LifeStream donations. Whole apheresis donations (a combination of platelets and plasma) represented another 3.79 percent of all donations.


Accredited National Marrow Donor Program is implemented. To date, 32,000 have registered with the NMDP through LifeStream; more than 200 marrow transplants have been facilitated with LifeStream donors. In fiscal years 2009 and 2010, LifeStream attained a Tier One recruitment ranking, one of only two blood marrow centers in the nation to do so both years.

Hesperia donor center grand opening ceremony
Hesperia donor center grand opening ceremony

Something new, something moved. The High Desert Donor Center opens; the Riverside Donor Center is relocated to 4006 Van Buren Blvd. following the sale of its former site.


The San Bernardino Donor Center relocates to its present site at 384 W. Orange Show Road. The new location allows for substantial expansion of donor facilities, labs and offices to meet the needs of donors and local hospital patients.

Blood Bank of San Bernardino and Riverside Counties introduces new logo.


Two additional bloodmobiles are added to the fleet


KCAL and K-FROG each partner with BBSBRC on first blood drives.


BBSBRC marks its golden anniversary of service.

X-103.9 partners with BBSBRC on first blood drive.


Automated collection (double red cells; double plasma, single platelet; double platelet, single plasma) is available. The first double red cell collection is donated by a BBSBRC employee.


A fourth bloodmobile is added to the mobile collection fleet.

Dr. Frederick B. Axelrod is named medical director.


Registrants in National Marrow Donor Program exceed 25,000.

Thirty-three hospital partners require 130,000 units annually.


Three new bloodmobiles are added to the mobile collection fleet.

La Quinta donor center
La Quinta donor center

The La Quinta Donor Center opens. In conjunction with the grand opening ceremony, the announcement is made that BBSBRC is being renamed LifeStream to better reflect the mission and vision of the organization. (“Life” helping save lives; “Stream” representing a continuous flow of blood products.)

KGGI partners with LifeStream on first blood/marrow drive.

The High Desert Donor Center relocates from Hesperia to Victorville.

Bob Hitchman (left) and Larry Bloemsma, 1st 100-gallon donors.
Bob Hitchman (left) and Larry Bloemsma, 1st 100-gallon donors.

More than 60 hospital partners require 175,000 units annually.

LifeStream’s Academy of Giving Scholarship Program presents first scholarships to local high school students and awards to high schools for general fund use.

LifeStream celebrates first 100-gallon donors, Larry Bloemsma and Bob Hitchman III.


BUDDY, the Bus for Universal Donors, debuts.

Newly designed company vehicles feature artwork of actual donors in “Blead by Example” campaign.

K-Earth 101 partners with LifeStream on first blood/marrow drive.


LifeStream celebrates 60 years of service to the community.

KOLA 99.9 partners with LifeStream on first blood/marrow drive.

LifeStream hosts annual Transfusion Medicine Forum for the first time.


LifeStream adds hundreds of rare-type blood donors to library following dedicated testing program.

Alex Fishburn, 200th marrow donor (right).
Alex Fishburn, 200th marrow donor (right).

Alex Fishburn is contacted by recipient of his bone marrow donation; Alex is 200th LifeStream donor to be “matched” with a patient in need.


Vendy Martin becomes first female LifeStream donor to reach 100 gallons in blood donations. William Dodge also joins “100-gallon donor club.”

Affiliation agreement between Vitalant, formerly known as Blood Systems, and LifeStream takes effect; Desert Blood Services becomes part of LifeStream family.

Largest bloodmobile in 2015.
Largest bloodmobile in 2015.

International attention focuses on LifeStream service area as terrorist attack strikes Inland Regional Center, San Bernardino on December 2. Emergency orders for blood exceeds 300 units; LifeStream immediately packs and distributes units to assist victims. Twenty-two wounded in attack all survive.

LifeStream “rolls out” newest, largest bloodmobile in fleet to replace retired unit. San Manuel Band of Mission Indians is prominent supporters in purchase.

Daniel Deane, Benny Croyle, Dennis Schall and Evelyn Adair reach 100-gallon donor plateau.


In accordance with FDA guidelines, automatic 1-year deferral period for giving blood after having a tattoo administered is eliminated.

Kenneth Hamblin, Robert Coutts, Ronald Prickett, James Gursslin, Michael Testi and Dale Philbrick attain 100-gallon donor status.


More than 80 Southern California hospitals in six counties served by LifeStream.

Alan Bleemers, Dexter Emoto, Everett Brittain, Jonathan Bechtel and Rob Will attain 100-gallon donor status.


LifeStream’s Murrieta Donor Center opened in August, making it the sixth LifeStream Donor Center.

Antonio Tapia, Michael Kolling, Stephen Finfrock and Samuel Anderson attain 100-gallon donor status.

New Mobile Blood Donation Coach
New Mobile Blood Donation Coach

LifeStream’s mobile app launches!

LifeStream obtained a new eco-friendly mobile blood donation coach in August. Check out the video here.

LifeStream’s Rancho Mirage Donor Center opened in October, making it the seventh LifeStream Donor Center.

Larry Veres and Rob Lennox attain 100-gallon donor status.


As COVID-19 grips the nation, LifeStream cancels 37th Annual Gift of Life Tribute, 10-Gallon Donor Celebration; other popular annual events honoring volunteers and blood drive chairpersons; and LifeStream’s annual 5K Life Run/Walk.


LifeStream opens Placentia Donor Center, the organization’s first Orange County-based location.

LifeStream marks 70th anniversary of community service


Effective January 1, LifeStream and Vitalant amicably agreed to end their affiliation and LifeStream became an independent blood center.


Dr. Axelrod retires as President/CEO and Medical Director.

Robert Sanchez is named President and CEO.