The Immortal Life Of George Gey

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Dr.George Gey is looked at by some as a selfish man who did cell culture research as a means of gaining fame and fortune at the expense of others. This is simply not true, as Dr.Gey was a truly selfless man, whose only goal was to expand the horizons of what cell culture research could bring for the better good of the human race regardless of how much money or fame he got.

Dr.Gey was never a man with a silver spoon in his mouth. “According to Rebecca Skloot author of “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” when Gey was attending the University of Pittsburgh he had to stop numerous times to work as a carpenter so he could save up enough money to continue the pursuit of his studies (Skloot). This shows the pure utter determination he had
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He then decided what he wanted to do was to discover the cause and cure of cancer (Skloot). The fact that he did not wonder what would be in it for him and only cared about the task of the discovery and destruction of cancer shows a truly selfless motive of Dr.Gey. When it came to Dr.Gey’s first lab it was in a small janitor’s quarter at John Hopkins. Him and his wife Margaret had to pay for most everything when it came to fixing it up to work as a lab (Skloot). This shows what overall desire he had towards cell research and again finding the cause and cure of cancer.

He also had to be quite inventive with the methods he had with cell culture. He was known to visit the local junkyard to find metal scraps to utilize as one of the numerous tools he invented to use for the cells. One of those tools he invented was a microscope/moving picture camera which was to study cells multiplying (Skloot). Dr.Gey also invented the roller drum which was used to move nutrient which fluid around cells in a test tube to harbor their growth
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In fact, according to Dr.Gey’s wife Margaret, They sometimes could not make their house payment or get groceries due to the fact, that he spent the money in their bank account on expensive equipment in their lab (Skloot P.193). While this may seem a bit reckless to some, this shows that Dr.Gey truly did not care about the amount of money he made and, would make self-sacrifices to try and improve the quality of his research.

Many people feel Dr.Gey took these cells without asking (Smithsonian).
The fact is that even if the consent form Henrietta was not understood by her (Skloot), he never used those cells to try and get rich.

When it also came to his inventions colleagues were wanting him to stop and take time to fill out paperwork to publish his inventions. According to Gey, he thought that this was a waste of time saying his goal was not to be an inventor, but to cure cancer (Skloot). This shows how much dedication he had towards his research.

Gey was even given the opportunity to open the world’s first commercial cell culture lab in the early 40s, which he declined (Skloot P.194). This again proves that Dr.Gey never cared about making money and only focused on the cutting edge of what cell culture research could

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