Hayley Arceneaux wins Christopher Award for her memoir ‘Wild Ride: A Memoir of I.V. Drips and Rocket Ships’

Hayley Arceneaux wins Christopher Award for her memoir 'Wild Ride: A Memoir of I.V. Drips and Rocket Ships'
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A St. Jude physician’s assistant is the youngest American to orbit the earth and the first cancer survivor and astronaut with a prosthesis to do so.

And now she’s being honored for her memoir.

Hayley Arceneaux, who grew up in St. Francisville, has been honored with a Christopher Award for “Wild Ride: A Memoir of I.V. Drips and Rocket Ships,” (Convergent Books/Penguin Random House).

The debut book is one of 12 for adults and young people tapped by The Christophers as the Christopher Awards program marks its 74th year.

The Christophers, a nonprofit founded in 1945, is rooted in the Judeo-Christian tradition of service to God and humanity.

Also, Arceneaux recently visited Bains Elementary and West Feliciana Middle School, where she shared about her space flight and encouraged students to never give up on their.

“Wild Ride,” takes readers through Arceneaux’s and her father’s battles with cancer. Her father, Howard Arceneaux, was a writer for The Democrat and The Watchman.

She writes about her journey toward her dream job as a physician’s assistant at St. Jude’s Research Hospital where she was treated for pediatric bone cancer and an invitation to be a St. Jude ambassador in space.

She encourages readers to “fight for the life they want,” according to the book’s website and advises, “You have to hold on, because you don’t know what great thing can come and change your life. Take the chance and you will feel, and learn, and grow, and become even more you. Following your dreams can take you to dreams you didn’t know you had.”

Arceneaux committed to her career at 10, after surviving bone cancer. At 29, she joined SpaceX’s first private spaceflight, Inspiration4, which launched on Sept. 15, 2021, and successfully water-landed three days later, making her the youngest American to orbit the earth, the first pediatric cancer survivor in space and the first astronaut with a prosthetic body part.


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