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  • Writer's pictureZach Sellinger

Inspiring Those in Need

Out of the 331 million people in the United States, there’s a lot of cancer patients in need of chemotherapy. Most of them happen to be children; most likely 12 and under. One of the ways to increase the chances of them being potentially cured is to donate a generous amount of money to the St. Jude Children’s Hospital. And me, I’ve donated quite a bunch of money in months past. But today, I’ve decided to try and take it to the next level. How? Well, let’s just say it has to do with climbing aboard a next-generation vehicle bound for the stars.

Just recently, SpaceX announced the first all-civilian spaceflight called Inspiration4, which is bound to launch this October. Its objective: to donate $200 million to St. Jude’s and to inspire those who have the biggest dream to become astronauts. So far, two crew members have been announced. The commander is Jared Isaacman, a billionaire and founder/CEO of Shift4 Payments. What makes him suitable, in my opinion, is that he has had piloting experience even though he’s not part of a government agency. For the pilot’s seat, it goes to Hayley Arceneaux, a bone cancer survivor and current physician assistant at St. Jude’s. The third seat will go to an entrepreneur who will be selected through a judging process à la Shark Tank. But the fourth seat is very special.

To win the fourth seat, it can be any U.S. civilian, 18 and older, who donates to St. Jude’s. Yes! Anybody can ride aboard SpaceX’s Crew Dragon! And guess what? This morning, I donated $125 to St. Jude’s, which constitutes as 1,250 entries to become an astronaut. Funny story, though: my first dream as a young child was to be an astronaut. But as I grew older, I decided no because I was worried I could die at any point during the flight; specifically during launch. But seeing that the main purpose of Inspiration4 is to do a great amount of cause for cancer patients, I’m going to support that all the way. Even if I miss out and another person wins the fourth seat, that’s totally fine by me. What matters is that I showed how much I care for those who need the treatment to survive this sickness.

To recap, this being the first time in the whole world that four pure-blooded civilians are going to space thanks to SpaceX, not only is their purpose to serve for St. Jude’s, but also to inspire those in need to have the motivation to do whatever they want when they grow up.

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