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St. Jude’s Hayley Arceneaux returns from space mission, greeted with chants and celebration

Published: Sep. 25, 2021 at 3:40 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Chants of “Hayley! Hayley! Hayley!” could be heard throughout St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital as Hayley Arceneaux returned to Memphis on Thursday.

The St. Jude Physician’s assistant splashed back down one week ago from her three days in orbit as a part of the Inspiration4 crew, the first civilian crew in space.

A childhood cancer survivor, Arceneaux was an ambassador for St. Jude and is the youngest American to go to space.

The crew of the Inpiration4 spent their time in space performing experiments and giving live updates from inside the Dragon space craft, including a Q&A with St. Jude patients to answer questions on their minds.

Upon her arrival back in Memphis, Arceneaux was celebrated and honored by St. Jude patients and staff with a parade.

St. Jude released this statement about Arceneaux’s return home:

We were thrilled to welcome home St. Jude survivor and physician assistant – and civilian astronaut – Hayley Arceneaux. Hayley has given hope to the kids of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital – and children with cancer everywhere – by showing them that the sky is not the limit and to believe in a world of infinite possibilities.

SpaceX, Inspiration4 Commander Jared Isaacman, Dr. Sian Proctor, Chris Sembroski and Hayley have ushered in a new era of space travel and have helped inspire the world to rally around the cause of finding cures for childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases.

Thanks to their vision and bravery, and the support of our generous donors, Inspiration4 has generated more than $225 million in commitments for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, which recently embarked upon a six-year, $11.5 billion strategic plan that will triple our global investment to impact more of the 400,000 kids with cancer around the globe each year.

President and CEO of ALSAC Richard C. Shadyac Jr.

The Inspiration4′s missions was to raise money for St. Jude while performing experiments in space with $200 million goal, and Arceneaux said that the entire crew was brought to tears when they learned their mission had exceeded that goal.

After generous donations from Shift4 Payments CEO and Inspiration4 Commander Jared Isaacman and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, the fundraiser generated more than $225 million in commitments to St. Jude. Funds are still being raised for St. Jude as childhood cancer awareness month continues throughout September.

Because of donors, St. Jude recently began a new six-year, $11.5 billion plan to impact more than 400,000 children with cancer around the globe each year.

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