We had our .75th annual (or whatever a 9-month time period is) blood drive in honor of Mark Olsen. Mark Olsen is the most iconic sunglass rep in the history of sunglasses, quite literally. He is the #1 rep for the industry’s #1 brand. Mark was Oakley’s first rep, selling the company’s original throwbacks like the Frogskins and the MX O Frame.
Mark was a crazy motocross enthusiast and racer until he one too many crashes, and then he became a hardcore Cat 2 mountain bike racer. He’s probably one of the fittest guys we’ve ever known, not to mention he’s unbelievably hilarious. He’s just a charismatic, amazing dude.
About a year ago, Mark was diagnosed with a rare form of Leukemia. He had a stem cell transplant from his brother who was an amazing match. He did 100 days at City of Hope Hospital. A few months after the transplant, it was found to be unsuccessful and the Leukemia had come back.
When we first heard about Mark, Erin (our Director of Vendor Relations) wanted to donate blood for him. We found out you cannot donate directly for somebody, however, that sparked us to have a blood drive. And since the first one was so successful, we said, Why not have a second one? So we did.
We were very lucky that Mark was able to attend the second blood drive. It was important to him to be there and important to us to have him there. His friends, family, and the Oakley crew accompanied him. Even some of his other San Diego accounts and reps from other brands took advantage of the opportunity to see Mark and were in attendance as well. It was kind of a big deal. It turned into an amazing celebration of Mark with a beer keg, Grey Goose, music, shuffle board, and Chipotle was generous enough to provide burritos for the donors.
All in all, the day was a success. It was a very emotional afternoon and incredibly meaningful to be able to hang out with Mark. Tears were flowing, speeches were made, and laughter filled the SportRx office. We’ve known Mark for over 15 years and he will always be a big part of the SportRx family. He is absolutely irreplaceable.