At 18-years-old, many students are either trying to master their freshman year in college or finish up their last year in high school. Well, at 18-years-old, Dallas Salas is already a college graduate. The Arizona teen battled both leukemia and homelessness as a child and today, he has beaten all of the odds and graduated from Arizona State University with a bachelor’s degree in neuroscience.


Dallas spoke to Good Morning America in an exclusive interview about his life’s journey. Having been diagnosed with leukemia at the age of five, he recalled living through those first moments of battling the disease.


“It was truly a wrenching and heartbreaking experience,” he shared with the outlet. He continued, “I remember staying up at nights and just crying and just screaming.”

Fast-forward to a few years later, and in 2010, Dallas and his mother lost their Scottsdale, AZ home to arson.

“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 [we] came home, everything was destroyed,” he said. “And it was pretty intense.”

Dallas described the entire incident to GMA as traumatizing. However, that didn’t deter him from setting forth to accomplishing his goal.

With the painful reminder of his own health journey and that of his family’s medical history, Dallas set out to pursue a degree with a medical/science focus, so that he can help and give back to others.

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


This truly amazing teen said that he could not have accomplished what he has so far without his tribe of supporters that have stood by him and helped him along the way, with his mother at the helm of it all.

“… my mom was a great motivator, she really inspired me to keep it going,” he said.

And we have no doubt that Dallas will do just that! With the life motto, “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,” we have a feeling that we this is just the beginning for Dallas and we will see much more of him doing amazing things in the future!


Photo: @ASUOnline/Dallas Salas Instagram; @constancesalas Instagram

Tiffany Silva

Tiffany Silva

Writer and Editor

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