Jalene Salinas is a 4-year-old girl from San Antonio who loves Taylor Swift. That’s not unusual. But Salinas is also dying of an aggressive form of brain cancer, and she’s determined to dance to “Shake It Off” with her hero before it’s too late.
Her family has been helping Salinas cross things off her bucket list, like seeing “Disney on Ice” and making a snowman. One of her goals is to dance with Swift before she dies, so Salinas’ family and community have been using the #ShakeItOffJalene hashtag to get the pop star’s attention. At one point, Swift’s team did send the little girl a package filled with gifts. Salinas would now love the chance to have a dance party with Swift on Skype or FaceTime.
Salinas’ story has been devastated. She first went to the hospital last April, complaining of headaches. Doctors eventually diagnosed her with primitive neuroectodermal tumor (PNET). They cannot stop the tumor’s malignancy. “There’s nothing else they can do for her,” Salinas’ mom Jennifer Arriaga tells USA Today. “They told us anything you want to do with her now or she wants to do, go ahead and do it.”
With maybe only weeks to live, Salinas has been busy cramming in as many life experiences as possible, as documented on the Facebook page “Jalene’s Journey.” The big prize would be some time with Swift, but Salinas’ family understands that it’s most important that she be as comfortable and happy as possible in her remaining time, regardless of the bucket list. “Let’s just be happy, let’s smile with her,” explained Arriaga. “And when the time comes when whatever happens, we’ll have our time to mourn and to be sad, but right now let’s just enjoy her.”