Two bouts with cancer, and a horrific car accident would stop most people; or any one of those three, but not Gabriela Salinas.
At the young age of seven while living in Bolivia, Gabby was diagnosed with bone cancer in her back. Her distraught mother was told that the treatment for her would be $250,000; an impossible sum for the family.
Through a newspaper article about Gabby, and networking, the family was contacted by Marlo Thomas, daughter of St. Judes Hospital’s founder, Danny Thomas. St. Jude treats children with no cost to the family.
After months of treatment in New York, the family left the city to take a break from practically living in a hospital environment. Sadly the family was in a horrible roll-over accident which killed Gabby’s father, sister and paralyzed her expectant mother.
Life was not through dealing the Salinas family tough blows though. Gabby was diagnosed with cancer again and the treatment this time with radioactive iodine led to her isolation from the family; likely the hardest time of all.
Gabby’s mother said, “We have two choices, laughing or crying, we choose laughing”. Gabby is a lot like her mother, and now amazingly Gabby is a malaria researcher at the very hospital where she spent so much of her childhood.