by Douglas Messier
The Inspiration4 space mission has named a childhood cancer survivor and physician assistant at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital as the second crew for the orbital flight scheduled for late this year.
Hayley Arceneaux, 29, will join billionaire Jared Isaacman and two as-yet-unnamed individuals on the SpaceX Crew Dragon flight, which is expected to last up to four days.
Arceneaux was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer, in her leg when she was 10 years old. She was successfully treated at St. Jude. She now works at the hospital as a physician assistant with leukemia and lymphoma patients.
“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,” Arceneaux said. “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.”
At 29, Arceneaux will be the youngest American ever to fly to space. She will also be the first person with a prosthetic body part to go to space.
The Inspiration4 mission is hoping to raise $100 million for St. Jude. There is one open seat that will be awarded to a person who contributes to the fund-raising campaign.