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Monday, April 15, 2024

18-year-old homeless boy who battled leukemia survives challenges, bags Neuroscience degree at US university

Despite battling leukemia and homelessness, an 18-year-old boy named Dallas Salas has defied all odds to survive as he bagged a Neuroscience degree from Arizona State University in the United States.

Dallas was diagnosed with leukemia( cancer of the body’s blood-forming tissues) in 2010 when he was just five years old. That same year, he and his family lost their home in Scottsdale, Arizona to arson(fire accident) according to GMA.

“It was truly a wrenching and heartbreaking experience. I remember staying up at nights and just crying and just screaming,” Dallas said. 

“So I was out in California because we were taking a family trip. And we came home, we actually knew about it, because some neighbors called us and came home, everything was destroyed,” he added.



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Dallas mentioned that he was raised mostly by his mother, adding that his father was never really around when he was growing up and is currently in prison for engaging in criminal activity.

He stated that though he is still in touch with his father he described their relationship as disappointing. Concerning his health, Dallas said he recently learned that his leukemia has gone into remission after his bone marrow biopsy came back clear of the disease.

He stated that the pain he experienced from the early-age leukemia diagnosis, together with some other family medical history, served as inspirations for him to pursue his education in the science and medical fields.


“When you get into any aspect of biology or any aspect of medicine, you are deep-diving into the human systems. I definitely want to be a hands-on approach, helping other people deal with these issues and implement those systems that we learn about,” he said.

Dallas said he continued working towards his goals with the help of his mother describing her as his support system. “So my mom was a great motivator, she really inspired me to keep it going,” he said.

He also credited his success coach, Kristen Rund, whom he said was one of his main motivations, along with his mother. “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,” he said.

“And she was one of the first people, or if not the first person, that I talked to about the neuroscience program at ASU,” he added. Dallas stated that when it comes to his motto in life, he stands by what he believes.

“If you’re going through a lot of chaotic experiences, life is only 10% what happens to you and 90% of what you make of it,” he said.


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