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True Heroes: Astronaut Visits Indiana, Inspired By Kids at Riley

Mark Polansky commands the International Space Station. But, he says the kids and their families have the right stuff.

INDIANAPOLIS--A commander of the International Space Station visited kids at Riley Hospital for Children Thursday. Mark Polansky, a NASA astronaut, who also visited the space exhibit at the Children's Museum of Indianapolis, said he was inspired by the kids he met on his visit.

"It doesn't come close to comparing to what these kids go through day in and day out," said Polansky, who not only visited rooms, but gave a couple presentations at the hospital. "People look at being an astronaut is something that's special, when really, I look at the kids who are having to deal with life and death on a daily basis and they're the true heroes."

Polansky said he has learned about being a hero from spending time with sick kids and their families over the years.

"Their families, the support structures that they have, I can't think of anything that's more inspirational than that."

He said much of the inspiration is the grace and optimism with which the kids handle their illnesses.

PHOTOm VIDEO: Riley Children's Health

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