Milestone donors

Precious Mettle Breakfast 2016 – SBC Celebrates Our Milestone Donors

November 17, 2016 at 8:30 pm

Stanford Blood Center wouldn’t exist without its donors. We are so lucky to have such a dedicated and generous group of people who selflessly put aside their time to help save lives every day.

For that very reason, we wanted to celebrate a particularly special group of donors – our Milestone Donors. Milestone Donors are individuals who have donated 100 or more times; each time a donor reaches the next milestone (100, 200, 300, etc.), we celebrate their achievement. However, once a year we invite all our milestone donors to gather together for our Precious Mettle Breakfast to thank them for their generosity and show them how much their contribution means to us.

This year, the Precious Mettle Breakfast was held on Thursday, November 10 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Palo Alto. Nearly 300 Milestone Donors gathered to enjoy a delicious breakfast and mingle with fellow donors and SBC staff while hearing from our incredible speakers about the impact of their blood donation. Our stellar lineup this year included:

  • Hapreet Sandhu, Executive Director of SBC, thanked donors for their continued support, particularly as SBC transitioned from Stanford University to Stanford Health Care.
  • Tho Pham, M.D., Assistant Medical Director of SBC, gave us a look into his research on predicting future blood usage using Big Data (think: “next Tuesday, we will likely need this amount of platelets”).
  • Mike Alonso, Ph.D., Manager of the Cellular Immunity Lab at Stanford University School of Medicine, told donors how exactly their donations have accelerated his research – his lab has even managed to shrink tumors in mice!
  • Dolly Tyan, Ph.D., Director of the Stanford Blood Center Histocompatibility, Immunogenetics, & Disease Profiling Laboratory and Professor of Pathology at Stanford University Medical Center, talked about her work with Next Generation Sequencing, which would improve HLA typing accuracy and increase transplantation success.
  • Jen Andrews, M.D., M.Sc., Clinical Assistant Professor of Pathology and Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics – Hematology & Oncology at Stanford University School of Medicine, spoke about patients of hers who have needed blood products (whether for transfusion or transplantation), and SBC’s ability to provide the right products at the right time, potentially saving lives. She also sang a spectacular song set to the tune of “Wheels on the Bus thanking SBC and their donors (As MC Loren Magaña said, we wish we could buy it on iTunes).
  • And finally, Betsy McBride told the story of her son Austin McBride, who was diagnosed with Stage IV Burkett’s Lymphoma at just three years old. Austin was treated at Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital, and after five months of grueling treatment (which included 15 blood transfusions, nine platelet transfusions, and IVIG), he was pronounced cancer-free. Betsy, whose parents are both Milestone Donors and were in attendance Thursday, profoundly thanked the donors for their contributions, the likes of which helped her little boy beat cancer. Needless to say, there was not a dry eye in the room.

Also in attendance was our partner for our Give Good campaign, Bay Area Cancer Connections (BACC) – a nonprofit organization that supports people touched by breast and ovarian cancer. For each person who comes in to give blood at a mobile drive or one of our centers December 12 – December 24, we will double your impact by making a donation to BACC to provide cancer patients with comfort totes, which include relaxing lavender eye masks, ginger chews and tea, and soft, fuzzy socks. Precious Mettle attendees graciously filled out notecards with supportive messages to patients include in in the tote bag.

We would like to once again thank our amazing donors for their generosity and commitment. Your selfless acts of kindness save lives every day, and it was an honor to celebrate you. To view photos from the event, please visit

Want to reach your next donation milestone, or just take the first step? Start by making an appointment at