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Blood Drive to Honor Manhattan Beach Police's 'Superman'

May 20, 2024 10:40PM ● By Jeanne Fratello

Mark Vasquez. Photo via MBPD.

A blood drive on Wednesday 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 13th Annual Mark Vasquez Memorial Event will be held on Wednesday, 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.

Lee Sibbald, Vasquez's wife, said that the family would once again like to give back to those in need of blood transfusions, including patients fighting cancer or other illnesses.

To join the blood drive, download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) and use sponsor code MarkVasquez to make an appointment.

Anyone who gives blood, platelets or plasma from now through June 9 will get an exclusive American Red Cross/ Tetris t-shirt while supplies last.

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.

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 49th birthday.

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