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Blood Drive to Honor MBPD's 'Superman'

May 19, 2022 08:21PM ● By Jeanne Fratello
A blood drive this weekend will honor Mark Vasquez, a Manhattan Beach Police officer who lost his battle with blood cancer in 2011. Vasquez was nicknamed "Superman" for his strength and resilience.

The 11th Annual Mark Vasquez Memorial Event will be held on Saturday and Sunday, May 21 at 22, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the El Segundo Masonic Lodge (520 Main Street, El Segundo, CA).

Vasquez had "countless" blood transfusions over the course of four years of chemotherapy, including two stem cell transplants, said his wife, Lee. The Red Cross and the Manhattan Beach Police Officers Association has partnered with the Vasquez family to memorialize Mark year after year by helping to organize and support the drive, she added.

"The South Bay community supported him with blood donations, monetary donations and tons of emotional, moral and physical support," she said. "Hosting a blood drive every May is our way of giving back to this great community."
Lee Vasquez noted that the drive has grown in size every year, to the point that this year the organizers decided to make it a two-day event. 

"For the first time in several years we still have open appointments available over the weekend and will be welcoming walk-ins," she said, adding, "Our community hospitals desperately need blood for patients like Mark."

To register in advance, visit and use sponsor code markvasquez.

MBPD's 'Superman'

Vasquez was born and raised in the South Bay. He grew up playing baseball and had said he always wanted to be a police officer. He graduated from West Torrance High School, El Camino College, and Cal State Dominguez Hills.

He married Lee in 2000 and had two daughters, Madison and Ashley, by 2004.

Vasquez joined the Manhattan Beach Police Department in 2005 and worked in patrol until he was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a blood cancer, in 2007.

His fellow officers nicknamed him "Superman" for his heroic spirit and positive outlook. The department held many fundraisers and events in support of their hero. However, MBPD lost its Superman on May 15, 2011 (National Peace Officers’ Memorial Day) - one week before his 36th birthday. His daughters were just 7 and 9 at the time.

Since that time, Mark’s family, friends, and colleagues have gathered each May to honor and remember his larger-than-life personality, as well as his love of life. This year, the event will be held on the weekend of what would have been Vasquez's 47th birthday.

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