Three-time cancer survivor now works at St. Jude - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Three-time cancer survivor now works at St. Jude

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(WMC-TV) – Action News 5 goes inside a restricted lab at St. Jude to bring you the story of a woman who personifies the St. Jude mission.

She's a three-time cancer survivor now working at the hospital. She's also part of Danny's Dream Team, a group of St. Jude survivors who raise money each year during marathon season.

The woman in the white lab coat works with a St. Jude team to cure cancer.

Gabriela Salinas, a St. Jude lab technician and patient explains, "What we work on here is discovering new treatments for the types of cancer and other catastrophic diseases."

This is the Chemical Biology and Therapeutics lab, so restricted and cutting edge that 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," said Salinas.

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

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

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 fundraising delivers on its sacred mission, saving lives.

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

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