Several weeks ago, 23-year old Kim Suozzi asked the Reddit community what she should do with the last few months of her life. Suozzi, who has terminal brain cancer, is only expected to live for another three to six months, making her request all the more urgent. Among the many responses received, Suozzi was particularly intrigued by the suggestion that she have herself cryonically preserved. Her ensuing interest in the possibility instigated a firestorm of debate in Reddit and other online communities. But at the same time it also inspired a group of futurists to set up a charity to help Suozzi afford the expensive procedure — and it looks like they just might help her do it.
Top image courtesy Christopher Barnatt/ExplainingTheFuture.
Suozzi, who has recurrent glioblastoma multiforme, turned to Reddit in an effort to raise some money. Indeed, cryonics contracts are not cheap — an expense that can cost upwards of $35,000. "I want to be cryogenically preserved when I die from brain cancer but can't afford it," she wrote in an updated post, "I am literally begging for financial help."
But in addition to asking for financial assistance, Suozzi has had to go out of her way to explain herself and her seemingly controversial decision.
"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 wrote, "I'm far from convinced, but I would rather take the chance with preservation than rot in the ground or get cremated."
Suozzi's effort to be cryonically preserved has subsequently created considerable turmoil in her family. "I can tell I've alienated them quite a bit as they are Christian and don't see why I'd want to be preserved; in their mind, I am going to heaven and my "soul" will forever leave my body when I die anyway," she wrote, "I clearly upset both of them with the implication that I was agnostic (I didn't say this outright, but it's true)."
And just to make herself clear, Suozzi has made it known that she's not completely sold on cryopreservation. "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," she said, "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."
To that end, Suozzi has adopted the personal slogan, "Live again or die trying."
Soon after Suozzi's posting, a cryonics-friendly futurist group called Society for Venturism set up a charitable fund in an effort to help. The group's mission is "To advocate and promote the worldwide conquest of death and the continuation and enhancement of life through technological means, including cryonic suspension." The current fund is the fourth cryonics charity case launched by the group — efforts which have led to two successful cryopreservations.
And over the course of just one week (August 25 to 31) the group managed to raise an astounding $27,000 — a sizeable portion of which came from the Life Extension Foundation which contributed $10,000. The Society for Venturism is hoping to raise another $8,000 to ensure that all costs get covered, including standby and transportation.
Independant of this, Suozzi has raised $2,100 through her efforts on Reddit — so given all this momentum, it appears that she may very well get her wish.
Those looking to help can donate here.