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More Than 100 Give Blood in Memory of Manhattan Beach Officer

Mark Vasquez died at the age of 36 of multiple myeloma in 2011, leaving behind two daughters.

More than 100 people gave blood today in memory of a Manhattan Beach police officer who died three years ago of a blood cancer.

Officer Mark Vasquez died at the age of 36 of multiple myeloma in 2011, leaving behind two daughters.

The Manhattan Beach Police Officers' Association, in partnership with the American Red Cross, held the blood drive to help others in Vasquez's memory.

"He gave a really valiant fight," said Officer Stephanie Martin. "That's how he earned the name Superman. He never gave up."

Vazquez grew up in Torrance and played baseball for Redondo Union High School and West High School in Torrance. He graduated from California State University Dominguez Hills with a bachelor's degree in business in 1999.

His mother, Jo Ubina Smith, said the blood drive is to help save lives.

"This is kind of our way of helping pay back the people who helped him," Smith said.

Smith said her son had a positive spirit.

"We plan to continue to support the community and do what we can to honor his name and help other people," she said.

--City News Service


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