29-year-old Hayley Arceneaux has recently been grabbing the headlines for having joined the crew of the world’s first all-civilian space mission. Reason? She is not only young, but a bone cancer survivor and lives on prosthetic legs.
With this, she may soon be attributed as the first bone cancer survivor or the first person with prosthetics to become an astronaut or even the youngest American to orbit Earth for that matter. Hayley will launch on a Falcon 9 rocket designed by the Elon Musk-founded SpaceX, later this year.
Hayley Arceneaux’s story is inspiring in many ways but most importantly, it testifies that nothing can get in the way of your dreams. While she may be the first or among the first few cancer survivors to make it this far in the world of astronauts, there are women who have beat the odds of cancer to succeed in other fields.
Christ-Tia Donaldson’s journey is an ideal example of using your experience to help transform the world. A Harvard graduate, she has carved her success in the beauty space, with Thank God It’s Natural (tgin), when she was diagnosed with breast cancer at the young age of 36 in 2015.
Later in 2018, she was diagnosed for the second time. She says that it was her unwavering faith in god that gave her the supernatural ability to tackle the downs that she had to go through during those years.
While she has had the luxury to be able to undergo treatment, a lot of people, especially in the African-American community, don’t have that. This is why, today, through tgin Foundation, a non-profit organisation, Christ-Tia Donaldson supports uninsured women undergoing breast cancer treatment.
Other than being a stewardess or ground staff, it is not common for women to foray in the aviation industry, especially in India. However, 24-year-old Bhopal girl Kanika Tekriwal didn’t let the convention stop her from pursuing her goal.
Having been working in the aviation sector since 17 years of age, she has had the know-how of private jets. She later went to the UK to pursue MBA and was on the verge of being able to launch a start-up but cancer hit her. She was 22 then and the doctors told her she had only a few months to live.
For someone that young, it would have been enough to break her, but Kanika refused to be broken. “It was indeed a blow. But I refused to give up. It took nine months of rigorous treatment with help of chemotherapy that cured me. Yes, that time was tough, but the best part of that time was that on one hand, it tested me beyond my limits, on the other hand, it gave me time to think about what I have to do with my life because I knew I won’t surrender and recover from this phase,” she said.
After successfully recovering from cancer, in 2014, she started JetSetGo, which is often referred to as the ‘Uber of the skies’.
The company boasts of a large fleet of private jets and helicopters for customers to avail at relatively affordable rate for various purposes – medical emergencies, destination weddings, etc.
In awe of these incredible real-life super women? Read this space for more such inspiring success stories!