Physician assistant at St. Jude part of first all-civilian crew in space

MEMPHIS, TENN. — A 29-year-old cancer survivor who works at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital launched into space with the inspiration-4 crew.

The goal of the mission is to raise money and awareness for St. Jude.

FOX13 found out over $130 million dollars was raised so far.

Hayley Arceneaux was diagnosed with bone cancer at 10-years-old. Now, she’s a 29-year-old survivor who works at St. Jude and is thrilled to be in space.

“I definitely think that my journey with cancer prepared me for this. I think it kind of taught me how to expect the unexpected,” said Arceneaux.

Arceneaux is now part of history, a member of the first full civilian crew who launched into space.

She is a cancer survivor, physician’s assistant and appropriately enough, a travel enthusiast.

“I was hoping to have seen all the continents before I reached age 30. I did not think space would be added to that list,” said Arceneaux.

When she was only 10-years-old she was diagnosed with bone cancer. She was terrified and didn’t know what her future would hold.

“I just said I don’t want to die because everyone I had known at age 10 who had cancer had passed away and I thought cancer was a death sentence,” said Arceneaux.

Ever since she started treatment at St Jude her goal was to work at the hospital.

She fulfilled that dream in April becoming a physician’s assistant, helping people everyday.

That’s why she says the Inspiration-4 mission is important to her. An effort to raise hundreds of millions of dollars to help families in need.

“It means so much to me when I hear people are donating to St. Jude because not only did they save my life but getting to work here I see these brave kiddos,” said Arceneaux.

A launch into space, a chance to save lives, an opportunity of a lifetime.

“I know that the money raised and awareness raised from this mission is going to change lives,” said Arceneaux.

The crew will be in space for 3 days.