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Bone Cancer Survivor Selected for SpaceX Flight

MONDAY, Feb. 22, 2021 -- Bone cancer survivor Hayley Arceneaux says her battle with the disease helped prepare her to serve as crew medical officer on a SpaceX flight later this year that is being used as a charitable fundraiser for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

Arceneaux is joining billionaire Jared Isaacman, who wants to raise $200 million for the hospital. He offered one seat on the SpaceX Dragon capsule to St. Jude, and there will be two yet-to-be-chosen contest winners, the Associated Press reported.

St. Jude selected Arceneaux, 29, to occupy its seat. She is a former patient who was hired as a physician assistant last spring. She will become the youngest American in space and also the first in space with a prosthesis. At age 10 years, Arceneaux had surgery at St. Jude to replace her knee and received a titanium rod in her left thigh bone.

"My battle with cancer really prepared me for space travel," Arceneaux told the AP. "It made me tough, and then also I think it really taught me to expect the unexpected and go along for the ride." Arceneaux said she wants to show her young patients and other cancer survivors that "the sky is not even the limit anymore," and she added that "it's going to mean so much to these kids to see a survivor in space."

Associated Press Article

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