LAKELAND, Fla. — A U.S. Marine and his wife hope to send their son's ashes to the moon.
Scott and Cori Gallagher lost their 11-year-old son, Matthew, unexpectedly in May.
"Honestly, it’s been the most traumatic thing you can really ever experience. He was my first baby, the first one to make me a mom," said Cori Gallagher.
His parents said he loved riding his bike and fishing. They said Matthew made friends easily.
"I’d like Matthew to be remembered as the kid who had the contagious laugh, contagious smile. The kid who befriended everybody. He didn’t give you a choice if you wanted to be his friend, you were his friend," said Scott Gallagher.
The Gallagher family said Matthew's biggest dream was to become an astronaut. He loved space, aviation and technology.
"My dad took him to Kennedy Space Center and they ended up getting season passes because he just kept wanting to go back and go back and go back," said Cori.
His parents said he loved watching SpaceX launches.
"He had an extreme love for Elon Musk and everything SpaceX. We would sit up and watch all of the missions from Cape Canaveral going into space. We would download the live videos so we could watch," said Cori.
Matthew's parents want to help their son fulfill his biggest dream of becoming an astronaut. They found Celestis Memorial Spaceflights. The Destiny flight is scheduled to launch from Cape Canaveral in 2023. The flight would bring Matthew's ashes to space and he would be buried on the surface of the moon.
The flight starts at $12,000.
"Anybody who loses a child would do anything to fulfill their dream so we knew that we needed to do something space related," said Cori.
The family is collecting donations on a GoFundMe page to pay for the mission. They are grateful to everyone who has supported them.
"With their help, they can be part of his final mission and every time they look at the moon, they’re going to be able to know that they helped us get him there and know that he’s up there every night among the stars on the bright face of the moon shining down," said Cori.
To learn more about The Destiny flight visit here.
This story was originally published by WFTS in Tampa, Florida.