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Astronaut talks about living in isolation with cancer patient

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London: A five-year-old girl suffering from cancer received health tips from ‘out of the world’ when British astronaut Tim Peake told her tales of isolation on a special video call from the International Space Station.

Peake also told Maddison Webb, who is recovering after a bone marrow transplant to treat her acute lymphocytic leukaemia, about the need for restricted diets.

The patient at the Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) received the long distance call of a lifetime when Peake took time out of his day on board the International Space Station (ISS) to speak to her in her isolation room at the hospital.


Peake, who became the first person to run the London Marathon in space on Sunday, addressed some 30 patients, who asked the astronaut all sorts of questions, including “what do you miss about home?” “can you contact your family from space?” and even “have you ever played football with aliens?”

Peake and Maddison discussed being separated from their families and restricted diets during the call.

The astronaut told the youngster about the food he eats on the ISS as she prepares to eat food for the first time in more than a month. Her mother said: “Maddison has been in isolation at GOSH for five and a half weeks now and so she was very excited to speak to space from her room.

“She has just started on a special diet of milkshakes and packaged food after her treatment which she doesn’t like very much. Tim Peake must have to eat different foods and have protein shakes and so I’m hoping it will encourage her to drink them!” He also gave training tips after running the London Marathon using an on-board treadmill, as the hospital is encouraging people to take part in a 5K family fun run on May 15 in aid of the hospital.

After the call, that took place on April 28, Major Peake tweeted: “Thanks to the wonderful children & staff at @GreatOrmondSt for the great link-up yesterday. I loved sharing the #ISS & Earth views with you.”

The former army officer blasted into space five months ago, along with American Tim Kopra and Russian commander Yuri Malenchenko, and in January became the first British person to walk in space.

Last week, it was announced that the trio will return to Earth on June 18 – almost two weeks later than originally planned.