Blood Drive to Be Held in Memory of MBPD's 'Superman'May 19, 2023 01:49PM ● By Jeanne Fratello
A blood drive on Monday will honor Mark Vasquez, a Manhattan Beach Police Department officer who lost his battle with blood cancer in 2011. Vasquez was nicknamed "Superman" for his strength and resilience.
The 12th Annual Mark Vasquez Memorial Event will be held on May 22, from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Joslyn Community Center in Manhattan Beach.
Vasquez had numerous blood transfusions over the course of four years of chemotherapy, including two stem cell transplants. The Red Cross and the Manhattan Beach Police Officers Association join together with Vasquez's family, friends, and colleagues to memorialize him each year with the blood drive.
“In honor of Mark and the 12th year since his passing, our family would again like to give back to those in need of blood transfusions, including patients fighting cancer or other illnesses,” said Lee Sibbald, Vasquez’s wife. “In memory of our Superman, we're giving blood and asking the community to join us. Your generosity could help save a life.”
Anyone who gives blood, platelets or plasma from May 20 through 31 will get an exclusive American Red Cross beach towel, while supplies last. Plus, all who come to give in May will also automatically be entered for a chance to win a trip for two to the 2023 MLB® All-Star Game® in Seattle. Additional information details and terms are available at RedCrossBlood.org/Team
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.
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 week of what would have been Vasquez's 48th birthday.