Hayley Arceneaux, 29, a bone cancer survivor from Memphis, Tennessee, will be the youngest American to go to space, giving hope to countless cancer patients.
“If anybody was emblematic of the notion of hope, it was Hayley,” says Richard C. Shadyac Jr., the president of the American Lebanese Syrian Associated Charities, the fundraising organization for St. Jude Children Research Hospital. “Patients will be able to see a cancer survivor in space, especially one that has gone through the same thing that they have,” says Ms. Arceneaux. “It’s going to help them visualize their future.”
The young physician assistant at St. Jude is one of four people who will board a Falcon 9 rocket from SpaceX, Elon Musk’s space company, which is set to lift off in Florida later this year. It is the first crewed mission with no professional astronauts aboard, and the spaceship will orbit the Earth for three to four days. “She’s got an adventurous spirit,” says Jared Isaacman who spearheaded the project. “And now she gets to travel to the stars, which is pretty cool.”