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This Teen Battled Cancer and Homelessness and Just Graduated College

How a Teen Battled Cancer and Homelessness to Emerge a College Graduate at 18

Imagine facing some of the toughest battles in life — leukemia and homelessness — and emerging victorious, not just surviving, but thriving. This is the incredible story of Dallas Salas, an 18-year-old who defied the odds to graduate from Arizona State University with a degree in neuroscience.

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Early Life Challenges: Diagnosis and Loss

Dallas Salas, born in 2005, faced his first major life challenge at the age of five when his family lost their home in Scottsdale, Arizona to arson, plunging them into homelessness. The year 2010 further tested his resilience when he was diagnosed with leukemia.


Overcoming Adversity: A Journey of Resilience

Despite these hardships, Dallas remained focused on his goals, supported by his mother and his success coach, Kristen Rund. Salas credited Rund as one of his main motivations, along with his mom.

"We would meet every week... And we would go over my plans, we would go over what to do next... so that I can succeed. And she was one of the first people, or if not the first person, that I talked to about the neuroscience program at ASU," Salas told ABC News.


Dallas navigated through these challenges with determination. His mother, Constance, recognized his exceptional intelligence early and fostered it with a rigorous parenting approach and academic curriculum.

Inspiration from Pain: Choosing Neuroscience

Dallas's personal experiences with illness and his family's medical history inspired him to pursue a degree in neuroscience. He aims to use his knowledge to help others who are dealing with similar health issues.


Mentorship and Support: Key to Success

Important figures in Dallas's academic journey included his supervisor at college, Xavier Celaya, a doctoral student, who commended Dallas's eagerness and ability to learn. This mentorship played a significant role in his academic success.

Dallas Salas's journey from battling leukemia and homelessness to graduating college at 18 is a testament to the human spirit's resilience and the power of support and determination. His story is not just inspiring; it's a beacon of hope for anyone facing seemingly insurmountable challenges. Salas' remarkable achievement underscores the profound impact that perseverance and a supportive community can have in overcoming life's toughest trials.

Reference: Teen who battled leukemia and homelessness as a child graduates college at 18

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