102 years of life: community celebrates birthday at a distance

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OKEMOS, Mich. (WLNS) — Mrs. Eva Salinas has made her years count. Today she hit a new milestone, turning 102 years old.

But, it’s a celebration that seemed nearly impossible just months ago.

“She had a bed fall the day before thanksgiving in 2020 and once she had that bed fall she was obviously bedridden and hospice said she only had three days left to live,” said her friend Traci Ruiz.

Yet against all odds, Mrs. Salinas kept going. “Three days turned into 30 days turned into 3 months- so she’s done very well,” Ruiz said.

Ruiz says she always asked how she knows Mrs. Salinas.

“They constantly ask me wait a second are you her daughter is she your mom…they don’t realize that there is not that blood relative. But truly I say it only takes love to make the world go round,” she said.

They met nearly 30 years ago when Ruiz worked for the Lansing Police Department and became friends at a Cristo Rey Church event.
“As the years passed her husband had passed a long and I would stop in and check on her and sometimes bring her food and one thing led to another where she became part of the family because she didn’t have anywhere else to go,” she said.

Friendship is what Mrs. Salinas credits as her secret to a long life.

“You have to find good friends- not all of them are friends. there’s certain people that are good friends,” the 102-year-old said.

Today there’s no doubt that Mrs. Salinas has found them, many good friends. And they helped celebrate her safely at a distance.

Among her gifts a recliner chair donated by Lansing’s La-Z-Boy’s owner who heard Mrs. Salinas needed a medical chair and stepped in,

PajamaGram/Vermont Teddy Bear donated pijamas, and Playmaker’s donated Mrs. Salinas a Patagonia sweatshirt.

People who would like to visit Mrs. Salinas can do so during daylight hours Monday-Sunday and or send her a card at: Ingham County Medical Care Facility 3860 Dobie Road, Okemos, MI, 48864

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