Author: Alyssia Jovellanos
I was in a hospital wheelchair when I heard those words: "You have cancer. It's aggressive." Everyone knows that there's a life before cancer diagnosis, and a life after. In that moment, it felt like a death warrant.
Was my life over already? I was only in my early 20s... it couldn't be. There were so many things I still wanted to do.
The daily chemo and major surgeries were grueling. I wasn't allowed visitors because of the pandemic. I was allergic to my medications. I lost my hair, parts of my body, and much of my mind.
But I had a dream.
And I held on to it.
I wanted to escape my illness, to think of *anything* outside of my current reality... that there could be something afterward. That I could make it.
"To be cancer-free, make a positive impact on the world and contribute to science."
Today, I'm in remission.
And I built A Billion Dreams as a non-profit for anyone who has a dream that they too want to hold on to, and see it come to pass.
During treatment I often looked up at the sky. There's something about space that makes us wonder, dream, think of something bigger than ourselves.
Part of it also seems so far away and out of reach. Often when we think of people doing things in space, we think of government-run organizations and billionaires. It seems those are the only people who can do the impossible up there.
I disagree. I want to bring space a little closer, and inspire both kids and adults alike to still dream, even in hard times.
The simple act of sending a name, and thinking of a dream or goal that they want to hold on to, can change an entire person's trajectory.
Dreams move us. They inspire us. They ignite us to take action and be a little bit better every single day.
We are A Billion Dreams.
Our long-term vision with A Billion Dreams is to contribute to science and technology by launching our own satellites, asking questions, funding and conducting biological and biomedical research in space that can benefit many more people. With the decommissioning of the International Space Station expected in the next 5-10 years, it is more important than ever to find more ways to enable this kind of scientific research. We can also carry many more written names and dreams!
If you're interested in supporting us beyond space mission tickets, check out our donation page here.