The Goldendale Sentinel - Headlines & History since 1879

By Lou Marzeles

Noah reaches for the stars

Severely injured after falling from a cliff , the Goldendale youth wants to meet the Space X man


October 23, 2019


WISH WAITING TO BE FULFILLED: Noah Messenger, left, was accepted by Wishing Star to make a wish. His: to meet Elon Musk,

Noah Messenger saw his wishing star and made a wish. Now he's waiting to see if it comes true.

The Goldendale youth was 18 when his footing slipped and he plummeted from a cliff near Maryhill Winery and broke his back in 2017. His story-how he spent days pulling himself by his hands over rough ground trying to get to a place where he could get help-was astonishing and inspiring, a testimonial to the human spirit. Today he is working small miracles in the muscles in the lower half of his body ("I've got some feeling in parts of my legs, something the doctors said I'd never have," he recounts), and he remains highly motivated.

In fact, his fire and passion inspired an unknown admirer to nominate him for Wishing Star, an organization similar to Make-a-Wish that takes wishes from young people in life-threatening or severely challenging situations and tries to make them come true.

Messenger was asked what his wish was. Answer: to meet Elon Musk, the colorful head of Tesla Motors and Space X. For Messenger, Musk represents awe-inspiring technological prowess, and he'd love to shake hands with the man behind the highly prized Tesla electric car and the first private company to build a space vehicle that routinely launches resupply missions to the International Space Station in partnership with NASA.

Wishing Star is working on the wish. A campaign has been started to help, at #NoahforElonMusk.

"They contacted me probably four or five months ago," Messenger recalls. "Someone had nominated me down in the Tri-Cities area. It surprised me; that was really exciting news. I didn't want to get my hopes up that they would for sure even accept me." Messenger had to make the cut from a large number of kids nominated-the program helps young people from age 1 to 21. "A couple weeks later they called me and said I was accepted."

He explains the appeal of meeting Elon Musk. "I felt if I was going to be able to meet someone, I've always thought it'd be really cool to meet Musk because like me he's always been really into science and possibilities for the future. He's doing a ton of stuff besides Tesla. He has something called the boring project; he is planning on digging tunnels under big cities. The easiest way to describe it is in your car, you'll just go on an elevator down into the tunnel and then be on an automated track and go through the tunnel and pop up on a different side of the city, way faster, avoiding traffic." Messenger's eyes light up thinking about this underground super-fast transportation system.

Then there's Musk's neuro-link project. "It could potentially help spinal cord injury patients a lot," Messenger says. "Really small electrodes get inserted into your brain. They can be used to control devices around you." He cites successful experiments with animals that can control devices around them with such implants. "You'd be able to control your phone with your brain," he says, "and download information into your brain." He points to project information predicting the capability to do such things within the next 10 years. "The example they gave was, say somewhere someone's lived in a city their whole life; they could upload their information into this, and you could download that information into your head. And without ever being in the city, your brain would just be familiar with it because the other person had been familiar."

To many this sounds like science fiction. Messenger sees it as science potentiality, and he sees Musk as a key trailblazer.

"It's a big ask, Messenger acknowledges. "He's supposedly one of the busiest people in the world, but I think it'd be just really inspirational to meet him."

So how is the process going? "I've heard it's getting some traction," Messenger reports. He made a speech at a fundraiser for Wishing Star a few weeks ago; the video can be seen on YouTube at "It was my first time speaking, and there were 200 people there." He talked of his injury and his miraculous struggle to stay alive. He received a standing ovation.


futurist vissionary behind Space X and Tesla electric cars. Messenger says he's inspired by Musk's scientifi c prowess and accomplishment and his work with putting circuitry in the brain that could help spinal cord injury patients.

The recent word on his wish is that someone has made contact with a person in Musk's employ.

In the meantime, Messenger says he's making some remarkable progress on recovering mobility. "I'm able to walk short distances with braces and crutches," he says, "which is something the doctors in the beginning told me, 'Not gonna happen.' I'm getting more function of my legs, not enough to where like I'm able to functionally use them a lot. I can't like lift them up, but I'm able to flex different muscles and getting some more feeling-and the more feeling you get back, the more you're able to get back, from my understanding. So things are hopeful, and this Wishing Star thing has been really cool. I mean, it's not to say that life's like easy or anything. You still have to deal with stuff, and I still would love to get better faster than I am. But things are going pretty good. And I just want to say thank you to everyone who supports me. I really appreciate any form of support. It's nice to know that people care."


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