Chicago

NASA rocket launch to pay tribute to Chicago space lover who died of cancer

The desires of Anthony Gaskins lives on

CHICAGO  — A Chicago household is an element of NASA’s mission to launch its Artemis-1 rocket within the coming days in its quest to return to the Moon.

Few can say {that a} rocket ship heading into space bears their identify. But Katie Gaskin, a mom of three sons, proudly can. Sadly, one of her boys, Anthony, handed away from DIPG in March 2017 at seven years previous. DIPG is a uncommon brain tumor that grows primarily in youngsters with lower than a 1% survival rate.

Anthony’s mom mentioned he liked something to do with the cosmos.

“He was always curious about the world and even asked questions about space and the planets and when he went to kindergarten, they do the ‘I Have A Dream’ to honor Martin Luther King Jr., and his, right away, he wrote, ‘I wanna be an astronomer for NASA,’” Gaskin mentioned.

After posting on social media about her son’s love of all issues space, NASA invited the Gaskin household down to their Alabama location, treating the household to a VIP tour. Anthony was even given a personalized memento.

Click here to be taught extra about Anthony’s Avengers DIPG cancer

Then got here Anthony’s Opus.

“The spacecraft welders, that’s where Anthony got to put his John Hancock on the rocket ship that’s being launched,” Gaskin mentioned.

Anthony’s brothers, Luke and Daniel, additionally received to signal the rocket that will likely be half of the Artemis-1 launch at Cape Canaveral in Florida.

“The smile that was on his face while he was doing it and afterward, it’s a memory that I’ll never, ever forget,” Gaskin mentioned. “It will never fade from my mind just because of that smile that he had in doing that, just knowing his dreams were coming true.”

That was in 2016, however simply a number of weeks in the past, NASA reached out to inform Gaskin it hadn’t forgotten about Anthony, Luke and Daniel’s autographs. In truth, the signatures have been going to fly excessive on a crucial mission.

Speaking to WGN News as she sat in her son’s room, very a lot nonetheless the best way it was on the day he died, Gaskin mentioned household and buddies have devoted a lot of their lives to ending the DIPG cancer that took her son’s life via Anthony’s Avengers Foundation, which raises money for analysis to discover a remedy.

The first Artemis launch date is scheduled for Monday, Aug. 29. Gaskin says she will likely be glued to the tv however shortly hopes the launch will get pushed again to Sept. 2 for sentimental causes.

“As much as I really hope it all goes well, it all fits together, all the pieces connect, I don’t think I’d be upset if they had to push it off until next Friday because Sept. 2 will be Anthony‘s 13th birthday,” Gaskin mentioned. “If it’s Sept. 2, then we’ll be having a launch party in his honor with my family.”

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