Hayley Was Once a Cancer Patient – Now She’s Getting Ready to Go to Space!
Almost 20 years ago, Hayley Arceneaux laid in a bed at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, awaiting treatment for her bone cancer. She was only 10 back then, and part of her bones had to be replaced with metal rods. Now aged 29 and all better, Hayley hoped to achieve her dream of visiting all 7 continents before the age of 30.
For lack of time, though, it looks like that’s not happening this year.
Instead, Hayley will be going to space.
Never Hurts to Dream Big
In the past, Hayley’s prosthetic leg would have been a huge problem, keeping her tied to Earth, all because of NASA‘s relentless medical standards for astronauts. Luckily, the world of the future is much more forgiving, and privately financed space companies have nary an issue with the metal rods inside her legs.
Now a physician assistant at the same hospital that granted her another chance at life, Hayley is set to visit space. She is one of 4 people admitted to the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lift-off. Launching later this year, it is the first mission devoid of a single professional astronaut.
Jared Isaacman, a billionaire at the young age of 38, holds credit for the launch. Elon Musk‘s space company graciously sold Isaacman a rocket launch upon request. He aimed to make the launch less for the superwealthy and offered two seats to the hospital. Hitting two birds with one stone, the hospital will host a fundraiser, where a random winner will be selected. The second seat, according to Isaacman, will symbolize hope in the form of Hayley Arceneaux.
The Sky is Not the Limit
The orthopedic surgeon who installed Hayley’s prosthesis, Dr. Michael D. Neel, states that while artificial bones aren’t fit for Earthly sports, a space trek should be no problem. He goes on to comment that Hayley’s story proves that there are no limits to your dreams. In fact, there is space even above the sky to aim for. While this is quite literally the case for Hayley, the symbolism of her journey holds immense importance.
Hayley has truly been an inspiration throughout her fight against cancer. Even when balding from chemotherapy, she helped with the hospital’s fundraiser. This led to a Young Heroes Award given to her by Louisiana Public Broadcasting.
Owing to her story and dedication towards helping children, St. Jude hired her only last year to work with children with lymphoma and leukemia, where she continues to use her journey to instill hope in little children.
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