St. Jude patient takes first steps since treatment alongside role model at St. Jude Walk/Run

MEMPHIS, Tenn., Sept. 25, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- St. Jude Children's Research Hospital® patient Gabe recently took his first steps since his treatment began more than a year ago alongside his friend, role model and four-time supercross champion Ryan Dungey at the St. Jude Walk/Run Twin Cities.

St. Jude patient Gabe takes his first steps since treatment with support from his mother Andrea and four-time supercross champion Ryan Dungey at St. Jude Walk/Run Twin Cities.

Gabe, a lifelong dirt bike enthusiast, arrived at St. Jude in April 2018 and was successfully treated for medulloblastoma, a cancerous tumor of the brain, but has posterior fossa syndrome, which can follow brain surgery and affect speech, language, motor skills and mood. Gabe met supercross legend Ryan Dungey during a trip to the hospital in Memphis, and the two were fast friends.

"It was important for us to give hope to Gabe with everything he was going through to lift his spirits, but there's also what he did for our motocross and supercross community," said Dungey. "He came in and changed the perspective of many of the riders with the influence that he brought."

More than a year after his diagnosis and relying on a wheelchair, Gabe was able to surprise Dungey by taking his first steps at the St. Jude Walk/Run Twin Cities. Supported between Dungey and his mother Andrea, Gabe's milestone steps helped kick off the event, where he was cheered on by participants and St. Jude supporters.

"Seeing the support for all these children is just amazing," said Gabe's mother Andrea. "Gabe's first steps could have been a private moment, but instead we decided to share it with the world because St. Jude depends on the world's support."

This race is one of 63 St. Jude Walk/Run events happening nationwide during September in recognition of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Funds raised through events like the St. Jude Walk/Run help ensure families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food – because all a family should worry about is helping their child live.

Sign up to walk, run or volunteer at a St. Jude Walk/Run event this September at stjude.org/walkrun. Read more about Gabe and Dungey's relationship by visiting stjude.org/inspire.

About St. Jude Children's Research Hospital®
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital is leading the way the world understands, treats and defeats childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases. Its purpose is clear: Finding cures. Saving children.® It is the only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center devoted solely to children. Treatments invented at St. Jude have helped push the overall childhood cancer survival rate from 20 percent to more than 80 percent since the hospital opened more than 50 years ago. St. Jude won't stop until no child dies from cancer. St. Jude freely shares the discoveries it makes, and every child saved at St. Jude means doctors and scientists worldwide can use that knowledge to save thousands more children. Families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food – because all a family should worry about is helping their child live. Join the St. Jude mission by visiting stjude.org, sharing stories and videos from St. Jude Inspire, liking St. Jude on Facebook, following St. Jude on Twitter and Instagram and subscribing to its YouTube channel.

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SOURCE ALSAC/St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

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