Space, the final frontier …
Everything is possible for those who have recovered from osteosarcoma
Hayley Arceneaux was 10 when she was diagnosed with osteosarcoma. Her left knee had started to hurt. The doctor initially thought it was a sprain, but a series of more thorough checks led to the discovery of a bone tumor.
The therapy involved a dozen cycles of chemotherapy, a limb-conserving surgery with knee replacement, and implantation of a titanium rod in the femur followed by a long rehabilitation period.
It was around this time that Hayley decided she wanted to work in the hospital, caring for patients as she herself had been cared for. She studied and graduated as a nurse and today she works in the same hospital where she was treated, caring for children with leukemia.
It would already be such a beautiful story, but life is truly full of surprises. In January 2021 Hayley was chosen to be part of the Inspiration4 mission organized by SpaceX.
It was the first space mission made up of a crew of non-professional astronauts that actually gave way to “space tourism”.
But above all Hayley was the first #cancersurvivor to go into space, the first astronaut with an artificial limb, the youngest American to spend a few days in orbit.
The Inspiration4 mission lasted from 16 to 18 September 2021 and was a great success. The story also became a Netflix series entitled “Countdown”, which in 5 episodes followed the training of amateur astronauts by telling their stories and launching the spacecraft into orbit.
Thanks to the battle won against osteosarcoma, Hayley was chosen to represent resilience and managed to break down even the last frontier, the limit of physical perfection that until now allowed only a few human beings to be able to travel in space.