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The Skys Not Even The Limit: Cancer Survivor To Become Youngest American In Space – NPR

A photograph supplied by St. Jude Youngsters’s Analysis Hospital reveals Hayley Arceneaux on the hospital in Memphis, Tenn. It introduced on Monday that Arceneaux, a former affected person and present worker, might be one among 4 crew members on the primary all-civilian house flight this yr.

Mike Brown/American Lebanese Syrian Related Charities, St. Jude Youngsters’s Analysis Hospital through AP


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Mike Brown/American Lebanese Syrian Related Charities, St. Jude Youngsters’s Analysis Hospital through AP

A photograph supplied by St. Jude Youngsters’s Analysis Hospital reveals Hayley Arceneaux on the hospital in Memphis, Tenn. It introduced on Monday that Arceneaux, a former affected person and present worker, might be one among 4 crew members on the primary all-civilian house flight this yr.

Mike Brown/American Lebanese Syrian Related Charities, St. Jude Youngsters’s Analysis Hospital through AP

Hayley Arceneaux, 29, grew to become a doctor’s assistant at St. Jude Youngsters’s Analysis Hospital almost a yr in the past, virtually 20 years after beating pediatric most cancers there herself. Now, she’s set to achieve new heights because the youngest American — and first with a prosthesis — to journey to house.

St. Jude announced on Monday that Arceneaux might be one among 4 crew members on the world’s first all-civilian mission to house, which is named Inspiration4 and is tentatively set to take off on the finish of 2021. The Memphis, Tenn. native, who was handled for bone most cancers on the hospital as a baby, referred to as the chance an “unbelievable honor.”

“After I was simply 10 years outdated, St. Jude gave me the chance to develop up,” she mentioned. “Now I’m fulfilling my desires of working on the analysis hospital and touring all over the world. It is unbelievable to be part of this mission that isn’t solely elevating essential funds for the lifesaving work of St. Jude but additionally introducing new supporters to the mission and displaying most cancers survivors that something is feasible.”

Earlier this month, journey commander Jared Isaacman — a 38-year-old tech entrepreneur, billionaire and pilot — introduced that he had bought the flight from SpaceX and would donate the three different seats to members of most of the people, with the goal of elevating $200 million for St. Jude.

Arceneaux will occupy the mission seat representing the pillar of hope. The remaining two, representing “generosity” and “prosperity,” can be found by Feb. 28 and can go to 1 particular person who donates to St. Jude and an entrepreneur who makes use of Isaacman’s fee processing firm Shift4Payments.

Arceneaux will turn into the youngest American in house, based on The Associated Press, edging out pioneering astronaut Sally Ride, who was 32 when she grew to become the primary American lady to launch in 1983.

She may even be the primary American with a prosthesis in house, having had surgical procedure at age 10 to interchange her knee and get a titanium rod in her left thigh bone, the AP reported. She has been cleared for flight by SpaceX and can function the crew’s medical officer.

“My battle with most cancers actually ready me for house journey,” Arceneaux instructed the AP. “It made me powerful, after which additionally I feel it actually taught me to anticipate the surprising and go alongside for the trip.”

In an interview with NBC’s TODAY, Arceneaux mentioned she by no means thought she would be capable of go to house, noting that “till this mission you actually needed to be bodily good.” However when the decision got here “out of the blue” from St. Jude, asking if she wished to go to house, the avid traveler, curler coaster-lover and lifelong space fan mentioned sure instantly.

She made certain to run it previous her mom, in addition to her brother and sister-in-law, who’re each aerospace engineers and reassured her concerning the security of house journey, the AP reported.

Officers concerned within the two missions — launching civilians to house and combating pediatric most cancers — applauded Arceneaux’s choice on Monday.

In a tweet, Isaacman referred to as Arceneaux an inspiration not simply to aspiring astronauts, however for “all individuals who want hope when encountering life challenges.”

And Richard Shadyac Jr., president and CEO of St. Jude’s fundraising and consciousness group American Lebanese Syrian Related Charities, praised her work within the pediatric most cancers group.

“It has been a private honor to observe Hayley develop up and fulfill her desires. As a affected person, an intern at ALSAC, after which within the Pediatric Oncology Schooling program at St. Jude Youngsters’s Analysis Hospital, she was all the time a rising star,” Shadyac mentioned. “She might be an unbelievable ambassador by this mission and inspiration to kids combating most cancers and survivors worldwide.”

In line with St. Jude, Arceneaux — who described her job as her “ultimate life dream come true” when she accepted it just below a yr in the past — plans to commit a lot of her time on the mission to interacting with hospital sufferers by video chats or video messages.

Arceneaux said she will be able to’t wait to speak to her sufferers about going to house as a most cancers survivor, as her expertise will present them that they “do not should restrict themselves.”

“I actually hope to indicate them that the sky’s not even the restrict, that they’ll do something,” she mentioned.

The mission crew will endure complete coaching, stress testing and mission simulations supplied by SpaceX, the company said. They’re set to launch from NASA’s Kennedy House Middle in Florida and orbit Earth each 90 minutes alongside a custom-made flight path throughout their multi-day journey earlier than re-entering Earth’s ambiance for a comfortable water touchdown off the Florida coast.

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