Five months ago, a woman named Kim Suozzi took to Reddit to ask the community for a strange favour: to help her be cryogenically frozen. The 23-year-old had been diagnosed with a rare form of aggressive brain cancer while studying cognitive neuroscience at university, and had tried numerous treatments in the hopes of extending her life expectancy. Cryogenics was her last hope. Now it seems she has got her wish.
The Redditor originally used the platform to ask for suggestions of what she should do before she died, but later asked for help in raising the minimum of US$28 000 needed to preserve her body in the hopes that a cure for her cancer will be found in the future.
In the post, she wrote that she had been interested in cryonics before her diagnosis, but could not afford the treatment. “I know this is a big thing to ask for, and I’m sure many people are doubtful that preservation is plausible with cryonics,” she explained. “I’m far from convinced, but I would rather take the chance with preservation than rot in the ground or get cremated.”
According to the Society for Venturism, the non-profit which took on Suozzi’s case after her post gained traction on Reddit and helped her raise an initial US$7000, she has been successfully preserved after she passed away last week:
Kim Suozzi reportedly deanimated in a hospice in Scottsdale, AZ, and went into cryosuspension at the Alcor Life Extension Foundation on January 17, 2013, funded mainly by the donations many people have made to the Society for Venturism. On behalf of Miss Suozzi, we wish to thank you for your compassion and generosity.
The post originally caused some controversy on Reddit, as the community was wary of a scam and because there is no guarantee the procedure will better her chances of survival in the future. Souzzi acknowledged the commenters who queried her plan, saying that she was not betting her life on cryopreservation, but that it offered her a better chance of living again than any other option:
I am aware of the problems with the current state of cryonics, but I have the hope that technology might come up with a solution in the future. No one knows what technology will be available in 50 years. Yes, it takes “faith” in technology, but it takes faith to assume that technology won’t be sufficient to reverse these problems someday.
[Hat tip: Betabeat]