Every so often, a story comes around where each element of it is relevant to the majority of our lives, and contains none of the frivolity of Star Wars casting decisions or TV series that got cancelled too soon. Other things get cancelled too soon, like life. Wait, that’s way too heavy-handed and trite for what should be an inspirational and mournfully celebratory story.
Kim Suozzi, a neuroscience student out of Columbia, Missouri, died on January 17, 2013, at the young age of 23, from a form of brain cancer. She was then transported to the Atlcor Life Extension Foundation’s cryonic preservation facility in Scottsdale, AZ. Ms. Suozzi’s name may be familiar to you, as news of her terminal condition found itself spreading across the Internet after she initially asked the Reddit community for advice on how to spend her last days. An interest in cryopreservation was sparked, and an impassioned plea went out for financial assistance, both through Reddit and through her own fundraising campaign.
Though it sparked controversy within her family and part of the Internet population at large, her goal was achieved in full. The Society for Venturism, a cryo-friendly futurist non-profit organization, stepped in and took Suozzi’s case on to be their third successful cryopreservation, and in only a few months assisted in raising the high funds needed for such a procedure. The going rate for neuropreservation at Alcor is $70,000, while the whole-body treatment costs $200,000. Luckily, Alcor wore its heart on its sleeve and offered a discount due to Suozzi’s circumstances, and Suozzi was able to afford a quick move to Scottsdale, which saved many thousands of dollars in transporting costs. Incidentally, many of their customers, for lack of a better word, use the company as the recipient of life insurance policies in order to cover the costs.
“I have been happy to help the cryonics community, and at times it is hard raise funds for a charity recipient,” said Shannon Vyff, on the board of the Society as well as an Alcor member. “Kim’s case was compelling to many people — not only did many cryonicists donate but non-cryonicists as well.”
Though these methods of preservation are still in their infancy, they offer a glimmer of hope to someone experiencing their darkest days. None of the decisions I made at 23 had anywhere near this level of complexity. Rest in peace, Kim. You will be missed.
For those interested in reading about or donating to the Society for Venturism’s latest case, which is an equally depressing story about Aaron Winborn’s sudden diagnosis of ALS, you can visit here for more information.