St. Jude names Mid-South woman to take part in mission to space

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital released the name of the person from the Mid-South who will be riding shotgun when the first civilian-manned trip to space launches later this year.

“Insiration4,” the world’s first mission to space manned entirely by civilians, is expected to launch in Oct.

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Hayley Arceneaux, 29, fought hard and survived cancer as a child, beating it as the result of the treatment she got at St. Jude, and now, her participation in the trip could help raise tens of millions of dollars to help fight childhood cancer.

Arceneaux, now working as a physician assistant at St. Jude, was treated for bone cancer as a 10-year-old child, according to a news release from St. Jude. She will occupy what is known as the “hope” seat, aptly named to represent hope.

Hayley will be one of four people launched into space aboard a SpaceX Dragon Capsule and will also be the first person to go into space with a prosthesis after she lost part of a bone in her leg during her cancer battle.

After being asked to take part, Arceneaux said she didn’t hesitate, according to a video interview provided by the hospital.

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“Not only is this a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, but such an incredible thing for St. Jude,” Arceneaux said. “Knowing I have the smallest part of it getting to serve as an ambassador and getting to tell my story about St. Jude -- I really hope that, not only will it change my life, but it will change the future of St. Jude, as well.

The goal is to raise money for St. Jude, $200 million.

They’ll be raffling one of the seats at an auction to help reach that goal.

The fourth and final seat will go to someone from a separate contest tied to a business operated by the billionaire chartering the trip.