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Community helps 4-year-old girl 'shake off' cancer

Jalene Salinas gets a call from Taylor Swift


SAN ANTONIO – Another wish granted for a 4-year-old girl who was diagnosed with an aggressive form of brain cancer last year.

The family of Jalene Salinas has been doing everything they can to help her complete her bucket list, and on Saturday they got the community together "shake off" cancer.

Salinas had asked to dance with Taylor Swift and earlier this week, she actually got a call from the pop super star. So on Saturday, it was all about the dancing.

"We were very excited to get the call from Taylor," said Jennifer Arriaga, Jalene's mother. "And this completes the other half of this wish to see people dancing. She loves for people to be happy."

Juan Mancha, who had been following Jalene's journey on Facebook, posted a note to her page, calling on the community to help Jalene "shake off" cancer.

"I was thinking about the ice bucket challenge when I was going through her page," said Mancha. "And I just thought, 'Why can't we come up with a challenge with shake it off for Jalene?'"

On Saturday, the community stepped it up for Salinas.

"Since Jalene can't go to the party, we'll bring the party to Jalene," said Deputy Chief Tammy Burr, with the Bexar County Sheriff's Office. "It's very important that we're coming out here to support her and to show her family how much love and support is in San Antonio for her."

Jalene's family members were glad to see the support.

"It's just a blessing to see the community come together to support this little girl, who is just an inspiration to everyone," said Cynthia Bustillo, Arriaga's cousin.

Although weak, Jalene managed to wave to everyone.

She even blew a kiss to her friend.

"The doctors now say like hours or days for her, so just to see that burst of energy when we first came out here and for her to watch and wave, I just can't explain how it makes me feel," said Arriaga. "I'm just glad that she was able to experience this and that the community gave us this opportunity."

On Sunday the family will be holding a large party to support Jalene. It will be at the Embassy Suites off of Callaghan Road and Loop 410 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.


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