Shelbi Salinas has long admired her firefighter father, Julian. She’s aware of the hard work and bravery that the job entails, and she couldn’t think of a better way to honor him and his peers by giving back.
Shelbi is the newest team member of the Widows, Orphans & Disabled Firefighter’s Fund’s L.A. Fire Hero Squad. She’s slated to run her first marathon, the 2021 LA Marathon, presented by Asics, in March to raise money and awareness for the charity.
“I’m honored to be supporting the fund,” says Shelbi, also the daughter of Sally Salinas, a personnel technician for Rialto Unified School District.
“I previously ran a 10K for the Run to Remember as well. I’m supportive of firefighters or firefighters’ families. Their contributions mean a lot to me.”
Inspired by a Firefighting Father
Fighting fires has been her father’s dream since he was a child, she recalls.
“He says he knew all along that firefighting was made for him,” Shelbi says. “He couldn’t see himself in any other career. To this day, he’s so passionate about his career. He loves going to work every day.”
Julian’s career has inspired Shelbi, whose dream is to become an emergency medicine physician. The 26-year-old is a full-time master’s student at Western University for Health Sciences and a former emergency department technician, now applying for medical school.
“I thank my parents for inspiring me to serve others,” she says.
“For me, personally, firefighters are incredible heroes,” Shelbi says. “I think seeing my dad as a firefighter for 25 years, I daily have more adoration for him and the brave men and women who go to work every day as firefighters.”
Training for a First Marathon
In the meantime, she’s training for the marathon through the Nike Run Club, which offers a running guide. She’s been strict with following its guidelines—running a certain number of miles each week to build up stamina and endurance.
The Widows, Orphans & Disabled Firefighter’s Fund is an official charity partner of the world-renowned Asics LA Marathon and LA Big 5K. The LA Fire Hero Squad members are important to the charity and its fundraising efforts, as they collectively bring in $20,000 to $30,000 each year.
So far, Salinas has surpassed her $500 goal at $550.
“I’m so excited,” says Shelbi, the big sister to Juliann, 21. “Athletics have played an integral role in my life. I participated in a 5K, a 10K and it was a goal of mine to run a marathon. I’m finally ready to conquer this challenge.
Learn more about Team LA Fire and the Los Angeles Marathon
By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski