St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis has announced a $100 million commitment from tech entrepreneur and pilot Jared Isaacman in support of efforts to accelerate medical research on pediatric diseases.
With the aim of helping St. Jude raise $200 million, Isaacman will give a seat on his four-person Inspiration4 mission — the first all-civilian mission to space, which he plans to pilot later this year — to a donor who donates at least $10 to the hospital during the month of February. He also will give a second seat to a frontline medical worker at St. Jude who "exemplifies the pillar of [h]ope as well as the courageous vision upon which St. Jude was founded — compassion, unity, equality, and inclusion."
The founder of payment processor Shift4Payments and co-founder of Draken International, a company that trains pilots for the U.S. armed forces, Isaacson will donate the third seat to an entrepreneur who uses the company's new Shift4Shop eCommerce platform. In 2009, Isaacman set a world record for circumnavigating the globe in a light jet, using the event to raise funds for the Make-a-Wish Foundation.
"Inspiration4 is the realization of a lifelong dream and a step toward a future in which anyone can venture out and explore the stars," said Isaacman. "I appreciate the tremendous responsibility that comes with commanding this mission, and I want to use this historic moment to inspire humanity while helping to tackle childhood cancer here on Earth."
(Photo credit: St. Jude Children's Research Hospital)