Only on 5: St. Jude patient and lab tech running to find cure - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Only on 5: St. Jude patient and lab tech running to find cure

MEMPHIS, TN - (WMC-TV) – Four million dollars and counting! That's the record amount of money raised by the thousands running in the marathon weekend coming up this Saturday. 

Only on 5, we go inside a restricted St. Jude lab to bring you the story of a woman who personifies the St. Jude mission. She's a three-time cancer survivor now working in the St. Jude lab and running the race. 

"What we work on here is discovering new treatments for the types of cancer and other catastrophic diseases," said St. Jude Lab Tech and patient Gabriela Salinas.  

She works in the Chemical Biology and Therapeutics lab, so restricted and cutting edge many St. Jude staffers are not even allowed inside!    

Although only a lab tech, Gabriela Salinas has a passion to find the medicines that will make children with cancer well.  

Gabby's the Bolivian girl who arrived in Memphis on a stretcher in 1996. Diagnosed with a cancer called Ewing's Sarcoma, a New York hospital had refused to treat Gabby for her family's inability to pay. St. Jude's Marlo Thomas learned of the story and paved the way for Gabby's arrival in Memphis, where she's grown up at St. Jude. 

"I've always dreamed about being in science and growing up here in the hospital, always saw the scientists and always was very curious about what was going on around me," Salinas said.    

Her boss is Dr. Kip Guy who leads a St. Jude team of 140. 

"At the root level, Gabby works in the lab every day, working on a disease that kills a lot of children," said Dr. Guy.  

Already she's been published in scientific journals although she only has her undergraduate degree from CBU. Gabby plans to pursue a Ph.D. The three-time cancer survivor also fund-raises to help finance St. Jude research. She organizes "Danny's Dream Team," composed entirely of other St Jude patients: cancer survivors. They're living proof that St. Jude's marathon of fund raising delivers on its sacred mission: saving lives. 

"By giving to the hospital, you're giving kids hope that otherwise wouldn't have hope," Salinas said. 

To make a gift to "Danny's Dream Team" at St. Jude follow this link to the St. Jude Heroes page where Gabby and her fellow cancer survivors at St. Jude are raising money to keep the marathon of mercy going for the next child in their shoes. 

Copyright 2012 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.

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