Meet Hayley Arceneaux – first bone cancer survivor to become astronaut

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Ambitious Hayley Arceneaux, a 29-year-old bone cancer survivor in America, is set to realize her dream of becoming an astronaut, which is near to her heart since childhood.

Recently, Inspiration4, the world’s first all-civilian mission to space, has picked Arceneaux as its second crew member. With this achievement, she will be the first bone cancer survivor to become an astronaut.

Another title of youngest American in space would also be held by her after she launched later this year.

When Hayley was 10 years old, one of her knees began to ache. Her doctor thought it was just a sprain, but a few months later, tests revealed she suffered from osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer.

Her family turned to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital for her treatment and care, which included chemotherapy and a limb-saving surgery. She is now finished with treatment and thriving.

Hayley obtained an undergraduate degree in Spanish in 2014, and obtained her Physician Assistant (PA) degree in 2016. She now works at St. Jude – the very place that saved her life – as a PA with leukemia and lymphoma patients.

She will occupy the mission seat representing Hope. However, the remaining two seats representing Generosity and Prosperity are available to the general public through February 28.

“It’s an incredible honor to join the Inspiration4 crew. This seat represents the hope that St. Jude gave me — and continues to give families from around the world, who, like me, find hope when they walk through the doors of St. Jude. When I was just 10 years old, St. Jude gave me the opportunity to grow up. Now I am fulfilling my dreams of working at the research hospital and traveling around the world. It’s incredible to be a part of this mission that is not only raising crucial funds for the lifesaving work of St. Jude but also introducing new supporters to the mission and showing cancer survivors that anything is possible,” she said.

Her selection for the historic mission was announced by the St Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, where Arceneaux was once a cancer patient as a child.

She will launch from Florida by the end of this year on a Falcon 9 rocket developed by SpaceX, the company founded by business tycoon Elon Musk.

There will be no professional astronauts is the all-civilian mission.

Arceneaux will be joined by two contest winners and flight commander Jared Isaacman, a 38-year-old billionaire who is bearing expense of the mission, a pet project of the commander.

Mr Isaacman is aiming to use the flight to raise $200m (£142m) for St Jude, half of which he said he will donate himself, according to BBC.

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