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St. Jude Children's Research Hospital tests for cures to cancer, malaria and more

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Researchers at St. Jude Children's Hospital might be close to curing malaria, a disease that kills a child every minute.

As scientists search for treatment drugs, doctors on the same Memphis campus treat children with cancer and other diseases. And their families never pay a bill through generous donations and fundraisers like the St. Jude Dream Home.

"Without money, there's no science,” said researcher Angela Carrillo. “So without it there couldn't be any science, there couldn't be any treatment, therefore we couldn't do anything here."

Scientists like Angela Carrillo are now being credited for finding a fast-acting drug candidate that offers new hope for beating malaria.

“One of the things that our department does and our lab does is try to find new drugs,” she said. “We work mainly with malaria and try and target lung cancer, brain tumor cancer, and so these particular molecules could either have the ability to either kill these cells or inactivate them somehow so that they'll be easier to target.”

Carrillo called malaria a “neglected disease” and said a lot of research is still needed. But they're already planning to test a new drug on healthy adults that they believe could destroy the disease in 48 hours. The drug would trigger the immune system to rapidly destroy red blood cells infected by malaria, according to St. Jude.

“Some of the work in our lab that we've done with malaria in the past year helped us learn more about the drug discovery process and therefore use that to, in this case, target pediatric cancers or cancers as a whole,” Carrillo said. “A lot of research is needed in order to find a drug for people in poor places and mainly children.”

Fundraisers like the St. Jude Dream Home help support this groundbreaking research and you can help by purchasing a $100 ticket for the chance to win a beautiful home while making a difference in a child's life.

You can purchase a ticket at any Tennessee Regions bank location. You can also buy online or call 800-750-6962.  More than 3,500 tickets have already been sold. If you buy a ticket by April 24th, you'll be entered into the Early Bird drawing for a luxurious getaway to Orlando, Florida, valued at $2,500 courtesy of Quinn's Vacation Homes and 4 passes to Universal Orlando Resort.

The Dream Home will be given away June 28.  The house is in East Brainerd at 8225 Knotting Wood Way in the Castlegate subdivision near Publix.

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