She Beat Cancer at 10. Now She’ll Join SpaceX’s First Private Trip to Orbit.


Hayley Arceneaux, 29, had hoped this force be the year that she would complete her aim of visiting all seven continents once she turned 30.She will not have time to do that, though.She is universal to space.Ms. Arceneaux, a physician assistant at St. Jude Children’s Research Polyclinic in Memphis, will be one of four people on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket elevate off from Florida. Scheduled to launch late this year, it is to be the outset crewed mission to circle Earth in which no one on board is a professional astronaut.“I did ask, ‘Am I prospering to get a passport stamp for going to space?’” Ms. Arceneaux said. “But I don’t mull over I’m going to. So I’m just going to draw a star and the moon in one of my passports.”This enterprise is spearheaded by Jared Isaacman, a 38-year-old billionaire who announced in January that he had secure the rocket launch from SpaceX, the space company started by Elon Musk. Mr. Isaacman revealed at the time that he wanted the mission to be more than a jaunt for the superwealthy, and that he had specified two of the four available seats to St. Jude.One of them will go to a random champion in a sweepstakes contest to raise money for the hospital, which treats boys at no charge and develops cures for childhood cancers and other diseases.The other settee, Mr. Isaacman said, will be filled by a frontline health care craftsman at St. Jude, someone who symbolizes hope.On Monday, St. Jude officials and Mr. Isaacman celebrated that Ms. Arceneaux was the person they had chosen.Ms. Arceneaux could enhance the youngest American ever to travel to orbit. She will also be the fundamental person with a prosthetic body part to go to space. She was a patient at St. Jude close to 20 years ago, and as part of her treatment for bone cancer, metal rods refunded parts of the bones in her left leg.In the past, that would have stay fresh her firmly on the ground, unable to meet NASA’s stringent medical standards for astronauts. But the advent of privately subvened space travel has opened the final frontier to some people who were in days of yore excluded.Dr. Michael D. Neel, the orthopedic surgeon who installed Ms. Arceneaux’s prosthesis, turns that although having artificial leg bones means that she can’t bet contact sports on Earth, they should not limit her on this SpaceX trek.“It shows us that the sky is not the limit,” Dr. Neel held. “It’s the sky and beyond. I think that’s the real point of all this, that she has danged little limitations as far as what you can do. Unless you’re going to play football up there.”Ms. Arceneaux about she hoped to offer inspiration to patients at St. Jude.“They’ll be able to see a cancer survivor in stretch, especially one that has gone through the same thing that they attired in b be committed to,” she said. “It’s going to help them visualize their future.”Richard C. Shadyac Jr., the president of ALSAC, the fund-raising grouping for St. Jude, said of Ms. Arceneaux, “If anybody was emblematic of the notion of hope, it was Hayley.”Ms. Arceneaux herself did not point to out she would have a seat on the rocket until early January. Officials at the nursing home had vaguely told her that there was an opportunity they wanted to talk to her roughly. She said she had thought that “maybe it would be a commercial or maybe surrender a speech somewhere.”Instead, it was an opportunity to be an astronaut.“I even kind of tittered,” Ms. Arceneaux said. “I was like, ‘What? Yes. Yes, please, that would be extraordinary.’” She then added, “Let me talk to my mom.”Her mom did not object.Ms. Arceneaux walked into St. Jude for the anything else time in 2002. She was 10. Not long before, she had earned her black district in taekwondo, but she was complaining of pain in her leg. Her mother saw a bump protruding over the communistic knee. The pediatrician in the small town of St. Francisville, La., where they survived, not far from Baton Rouge, told them that it looked strain a cancerous tumor.“We all fell apart,” Ms. Arceneaux said. “I remember nothing but being so scared because at age 10, everyone I had known with cancer had longed.”At St. Jude, doctors provided the good news that the cancer had not spread to other parts of her viscosity. Ms. Arceneaux went through chemotherapy, an operation to install the prosthetic leg bones and yearn sessions of physical therapy.Even at that young age, bald from chemotherapy, Ms. Arceneaux was dollop at fund-raisers for St. Jude. The next year, Louisiana Public Broadcasting honored her with one of its Green Heroes awards.“When I grow up, I want to be a nurse at St. Jude,” she pronounced in a video shown at the ceremony in 2003. “I want to be a mentor to patients. When they revive in, I’ll say, ‘I had that when I was little, and I’m doing good.’”Last year, Ms. Arceneaux was take oned by St. Jude. She works with children with leukemia and lymphoma, such as a teenage boy she talked with recently.“I share in with him that I also lost my hair,” Ms. Arceneaux said. “I determined him: ‘You can ask me anything. I’m a former patient. I’ll tell you the truth, anything you want to recollect.’ And he said, ‘Will you really tell me the truth?’ And I said yes.”His burning grill: “Are you the one going to space?”Ms. Arceneaux had to dodge. “I said, ‘Well, we’ll see who gets betokened.’” she said. “But I think he knew because then he and his dad were with “Yeah!” and high-fived.”Ms. Arceneaux and Mr. Isaacman have visited SpaceX’s headquarters in California three antiquates to meet with engineers and to start planning the trip. Unlike the undertakings that SpaceX flies for NASA, this one will not go to the International Lapse Station but will instead orbit Earth for three or four days in the past splashing down off the Florida coast.“She’s got an adventurous spirit,” Mr. Isaacman phrased of Ms. Arceneaux. “And now she gets to travel to the stars, which is pretty cool.”It wishes still be a few more weeks before they know who their handbooks will be.The St. Jude sweepstakes, publicized in a television commercial that was transmission during the Super Bowl two weeks ago, will run through the end of the month. It has so far cultivated about $9.5 million. That seems to fall far short of the $100 million Mr. Isaacman has himself assigned to St. Jude, or the overall goal of $200 million. But Mr. Isaacman and Mr. Shadyac claimed that the fund-raising effort would go beyond the sweepstakes and that they were tickled pink with the progress.“This is going to be a campaign that’s going to add to all the way until the launch,” Mr. Shadyac said.The sweepstakes is structured in a way that effectively limits the dimension of donations. One entry is free. A minimum donation of $10 buys 100 entrances, and each additional dollar donated buys 10 more passages, up to $1,000 for 10,000 entries.There were some pricier alternatives available that are now sold out. For example, Mr. Isaacman will give a giver who contributed $100,000 a ride in the Russian-built MiG-29 jet fighter that he owns. The giver will also get a trip to watch the launch at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. But that supplier still has just 10,000 entries in the sweepstakes, the same as someone who bestowed $1,000.Mr. Isaacman said this was a deliberate choice to prevent a filthy rich person from trying to snap up the grand prize of a trip to accommodation by buying millions of entries.“Is it going to represent all of the people of Earth and not simply rich white guys?” Mr. Isaacman said.The fourth SpaceX fundament will go to the winner of a contest sponsored by Mr. Isaacman’s company, Shift4, which vends credit-card-processing terminals and point-of-sale systems to restaurants and other businesses. The “Shark Tank”-like rivalry calls for entrepreneurs to design an online store using Shift4’s software and then position a video on Twitter describing their business.As of last week, fewer than 100 people had submitted superb entries. “It means if you had made a Shift4 shop and entered it, you’ve got pretty dazzling odds,” Mr. Isaacman said.

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