Kim Souzzi, a young woman diagnosed with brain cancer while studying neuroscience at college, passed away early in the morning of January 17th, at the age of 23. She was successfully cryo-preserved at Alcor Life Extension Foundation. Alcor CEO Max More said that there will be a summary of her stand by and preservation posted in the coming days on the Alcor blog: http://www.alcor.org/blog/
The Society for Venturism would like to thank all those who donated to their cryonics charity campaign for her to be cryo-preserved. There was a great response from I.E.E.T. readers when her story was first posted here. If you are not familiar with her story you can scroll down and read it from when her campaign was launched: http://www.venturist.info/kim-suozzi-charity.html
The Society for Venturism first learned about Kim from a Reddit post she had made during the summer saying she was raising funds to be cryo-preserved when she died and that she had been given only three to six months to live. The Society for Venturism had run three cryonics charities in the past and approached Kim to ask if she would like them to start a campaign for her. She was happy to have a third party start a campaign and for the publicity to the cryonics community that it gave. Kim at first was hoping to go with either CI or Alcor, but felt uncomfortable asking for charity and didn't know how it would go. She decided to contract with Alcor hoping that enough funds would be raised. The response from the cryonics community was phenomenal. Kim was able to travel to tour Alcor and attend their 2012 conference and was very impressed with their procedures.
Within a few months of starting the campaign the Society for Venturism had raised enough money for her where it looked like it would be possible to sign up with Alcor and along with the money she contributed and the support of Alcor membership she was able to contract with Alcor. Alcor offered Kim a reduced rate and staff donated their time while helping with her case. Accounts so far of her suspension say that it went optimally. A New York Times writer has approached her family and interviewed many involved with her case, and also contacted the Society for Venturism --it looks like there will be an extensive article about her coming out that will detail all that she went through while fighting the cancer, as well as her family's response to her journey to being cryo-preserved.
When funds were being raised for Kim no one knew how much time she had left. Kim was busy researching treatments for her cancer and enrolling in clinical trials. She was attempting to join a clinical trial just weeks before she passed away. Even while she was engaged with fighting her cancer she was thankful to the cryonics community and had contacted Aaron Winborn who she heard was going to be the next Society for Venturism Charity recipient. Kim graciously offered to help him and promote his campaign on Reddit.
He appreciated that she was offering to help him, but there was not much time. In December of 2012 she wrote to him to apologize for not helping more, explaining that her condition had deteriorated. He responded to her; “My condition as well is beginning to worsen; my breathing has declined considerably, and my FVC has reached 25%, far below the threshold of 35%, when respiratory failure is imminent and can happen at any time. My only option at this point is to opt for invasive mechanical ventilation, which may give me a 50% chance of surviving a year.” Sadly, Kim’s health kept her from being able to help Aaron as much as she wanted, and also his own health has kept him from being as active as he would like.
Kim had said she hoped people who supported her would also contribute to Aaron's campaign. She was grateful for all the support she received and believed Aaron would also be able raise the funds for a cryo-suspension.
It includes a button where you can donate. Every amount helps. It is not known how much time he has, as his condition has deteriorated more rapidly than expected since November. The Society for Venturism has started collecting funds for him and is working with him to have the funds ready for the cryonics organization he contracts with. All funds collected for a cryonics charity recipient go to the cryonics organization that the recipient has contracted with, and not to the individual directly. Leftover funds, if there are any after a recipient is preserved, will go to help a future charity recipient.
Kim knew that cryonics is not proven, it is only speculation that it will work someday- based on some science from today. There are many advances that need to happen for those who are preserved to be able to come back. Kim took comfort from the chance that cryonics gave her, that she may possibly finish her life some day. Although it is a long ways off, many are hoping that science, technology and medicine will advance to the point where Kim will get that chance. Please consider giving Aaron Winborn, 2013 Society for Venturism charity recipient that chance as well by contributing to his campaign.
Shannon Vyff is a transhumanist, cryonicist, author, and one of the leaders of the Immortality Institute. Vyff published her first novel, 21st Century Kids, in 2007.
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