MBPD Honors 'Superman' Vasquez with Blood Drive
May 01, 2017 04:41PM
By Liz Spear
Mark, Lee, Ashley , and Madison Vasquez
The 6th annual memorial blood drive and event in honor of Mark Vasquez, the Manhattan Beach police officer who died in May 2011 of the rare blood cancer Multiple Myeloma, will be held on Monday, May 22 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. in the Joslyn Community Center in MB. The Manhattan Beach Police Officers’ Association is partnering with the American Red Cross and Vasquez' family to stage the event.
Vasquez joined MBPD in 2005, working as a patrol officer until he was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma in 2007. He got into police work after going on a police ride-along in Torrance.
Vasquez became known as Mark "Superman," so nicknamed by his fellow officers for his positive outlook and will to win not only at work, but at home with his wife, Lee, and their two daughters, Madison and Ashley. He was given the name upon his return to work when he said he felt like Superman.
Fellow officers rallied to his aid, holding fundraisers and events in support of their hero.
"We all figured if anyone was gonna beat it, it would be Mark," said MBPD Detective Andrew Enriquez, who first met Vasquez in 2005 when he was one of Enriquez' trainees. "Mark was the toughest guy I knew. At the [police] academy, they talk about the will to survive and never giving up. Mark pretty much epitomized that."
On May 15, 2011, Vasquez, died on National Peace Officers’ Memorial Day. His daughters were 9 and 7 at the time.
There is no known cure for multiple myeloma, a cancer of plasma cells that attacks and destroys bone, according to the Institute for Myeloma and Bone Cancer Research website.
Vasquez, born on May 22, 1975, grew up in Torrance and went to Redondo Union High School and West High School in Torrance, playing baseball at each school. While playing for RUHS, he played all nine positions during one game. He graduated from West in 1993, and attended El Camino College, playing baseball at ECC and coaching Little League teams.
In 1999, he graduated from California State University Dominguez Hills with a bachelor’s degree in business. He married his high school sweetheart, Lee (the two met when he was 14) the same year.
To sign up to donate blood on Monday, May 22 in memory of Vasquez, visit www.redcrossblood.org and enter sponsor code “MarkVasquez.”