My friends Leonard and Maria Salinas are in a battle with one of the most unforgiving of diseases — cancer. Most of us have heard of or had a personal experience with a friend or a loved one fighting cancer, and it is scary. But finding out that a couple that have been together for 22 years and married for 13 are in the fight of their lives is terrifying.

Leonard is a senior deputy probation officer and has worked for the County of Ventura for more than 30 years. His wife, Maria Marquez, has worked in law enforcement for the federal government for 22 years.

Maria has been battling Grave’s disease for several years, and this May, her doctors told her that she has an aggressive form of thyroid cancer. She is currently undergoing treatment.

Five months later, her husband, Leonard, was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. A non-smoker, he visited the emergency room for a persistent cough. Three days later, doctors informed Leonard that he has aggressive lung cancers that have metastasized. He recently started therapy and treatment in the intensive care unit.

Leonard and Maria’s friends all pray and hope for the best and give support as much as we can. I’m hoping the Santa Barbara community will help these two loving, wonderful people, who are highly esteemed by their family, friends, and colleagues.

Please visit for more information on how to help Leonard and Maria.


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