Cancer survivor, 29, chosen for the first all-civilian SpaceX mission

A young cancer survivor got the cosmic chance to join Inspiration4 – the first all-civilian SpaceX mission.

  • Hayley Arceneaux, 29, a cancer survivor, was chosen for the first all-civilian outer space mission.
  • Billionaire Jared Isaacman, who sponsors the space flight, picked Arceneaux after hearing her touching story. 
  • Inspiration4 is expected to launch later this year. 

Hayley Arceneaux, 29, has been chosen to become a part of the first civilian group of people to go on an outer space mission. As UNILAD reports, Inspiration4 is expected to take place later this year. It is sponsored by the 37-year-old billionaire Jared Isaacman, CEO of Shift4 Payments.

When she was only 10-years-old, Hayley was diagnosed with osteosarcoma – a bone cancer that usually affects the legs and arms. At such a young age, she had to go through painful chemotherapy and surgery that replaced part of her femur with an internal prosthesis.

Recalling her arduous cancer experience, the space enthusiast told People:

“I was really sick from the chemo and my doctor said I vomited more than any other patient she had seen. It made me feel weak from my blood counts being low. Then I got some fevers that required more admission to the hospital. And, of course, I lost my hair.”

Thankfully, Hayley overcame the deadly disease, which inspired her to pursue a career in healthcare.

In only several months, young Hayley relearned how to walk and was finally able to go home. She was treated at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, where she now works as a physician’s assistant.

Today, the hospital is her “whole world.” The young survivor said:

“I remember just crying because it was such a mixture of relief, and then also I didn’t want to leave because I had become so comfortable at St. Jude, and I really felt like they were my family and I looked forward to going to St. Jude every day. And I still don’t want to leave. St. Jude is my whole world.”

When Isaacman heard Hayley’s moving story, he knew she was the perfect fit for the Inspiration4 mission. 

The billionaire contacted the physician’s assistant on January 5th to tell her the wonderful news. Since Hayley’s childhood dream was to become an astronaut, she couldn’t say “No” to such an amazing opportunity. She shares:

“It was such a shock and so overwhelming, but in an exciting way.”

When Isaacman had the chance to spend time with Hayley, he confirmed she was the right choice for his all-civilian crew. The businessman said:

“She’s interested in the world around her, devoted to caring for others and hopeful for a better future for all of us. She already inspires me, and I’m certain she’ll inspire many others as they get to know her in the course of our mission.”

How can you join the SpaceX civilian mission? 

The 29-year-old lucky candidate, together with Isaacman and another business owner, will be joined by another person who is yet to be picked. This person could be you!

Anyone who donates to St. Jude during the month of February has the chance to be chosen as the fourth passenger for the outer space mission.

Prior to the flight, the civilian crew will “receive commercial astronaut training,” as per SpaceX. For the training, they will be using the Falcon 9 launch vehicle and the Dragon spacecraft.

Hayley, who is now the Chief Medical Officer for the space flight, said:

“I don’t know my exact schedule as far as training, like how much I’m going to have to be away this year, but St. Jude and my co-workers have been so supportive and it’s been worked out. But I’m still working my job, and also getting to have this experience. What an incredible opportunity this is for St. Jude.”

Would you like to become part of this historical all-civilian SpaceX mission? Let us know in the comment section! 

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