Jalene Salinas’ final dying wish was to “Shake It Off” with Taylor Swift. This tiny fan has spent the last 10 months the way no child should have to — battling terminal brain cancer.
When her family was dealt the painful blow that there was nothing more the doctors could do, they set out to make the 4-year-old’s final days the happiest possible. Jalene made a bucket list that, according to the Washington Post, included building a snowman, going to school, driving a big wheel car, and dancing with Taylor Swift to her favorite song, “Shake It Off.”
As of last week, that list has been completely checked off, thanks to Taylor Swift. Jalene’s condition deteriorated over the preceding weekend. She was no longer able to walk and was experiencing a lot of pain. None of that stopped her from enjoying a surprise Facetime call from the “Shake It Off” singer, as reported by USA Today. Swift could see and hear that little Jalene was in a lot of pain and encouraged her with tender words.
“I’m so sorry you’re having a bad night. I’m so happy to talk to you though and I’m so happy you like ‘Shake It off. You look beautiful tonight, you really do. You’re just as pretty as your pictures.”
It was an internet campaign started by Jalene’s community that caught Swift’s attention while she was touring in London. Jalene’s mother, Jennifer Arriagas, expresses her gratitude for Taylor Swift on her Facebook page, Jalene’s Journey.
“She was so excited to hear and see Taylor Swift on the phone. Taylor was so sweet and understanding as she heard Jalene crying in pain saying how bad her head hurt. I am so thankful for Taylor being able to make Jalene smile even for just a moment. When Jalene’s pain subsided a few hours after the call. She was talking about Taylor and how she was glad she could see her through the phone. She said she was so pretty. So again thank you Taylor Swift for reaching out to Jalene. #ShakeitoffJalene”
Swift wasn’t the only one ready to “Shake It Off” with Jalene. A group of Bexar County Deputies showed up outside of the little girl’s home Saturday playing her favorite song. Jalene watched as people danced in the street in honor of her fight to shake off cancer. Supporter Juan Mancha sums up the hope of the entire community that opened its heart to Jalene and her family.
“Just to help her shake off cancer, help her beat it, just by having all these people here, some kind of miracle will happen.”
[Image credits Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images and Facebook]