The Life Of Henrietta Lacks

2232 Words 9 Pages
Henrietta Lacks, a farm-girl from Clover became the first “immortal” human in the history of science. Diagnosed with cervical cancer in 1951, Henrietta had only a seventh-grade education, but in her later years became the best thing that happen to the world of genomics and research thanks to her cells. Doctor Telinde, who was treating Henrietta for cervical cancer, took samples of Henrietta’s cervix, without her knowledge and sent those cells to Dr. Gey for further study. Thanks to Dr. Gey and his wife, they were able to create a way to preserve and grow batches of these sample cells which they later shared with other researchers. Many scientist were able to culture and test treatments for such disease as polio; allowing researchers to see …show more content…
After her 5th child, Joe, she knew something was wrong with her body. At first she was hesitant about seeking treatment, but finally went to satisfy her curiosity. While there, doctors were quick to assume that her feeling ill was due to her history of sexually transmitted diseases, passed down to her by her husband sent her home. When symptoms continued, she examined herself and found a lump on her cervix. With her new discovery, Henrietta went back and convinced the gynecologist that she had something more than an STD. What the doctor discovered, was a cancerous tumor, but what they all didn’t realize was that Henrietta had the key to immortal life living within her. Henrietta’s cells became known in the science world as “HeLa” and are helping researchers around the world learn about human cells and how to develop treatments for various genetic, chronic and difficult diseases. Rebecca Skloot became interested after hearing about these immortal cells as a student.. Her teacher mentioned how cell reproductions were, “…beautiful…like a perfectly choreographed dance.” (Skloot, 2010). However if there is a mistake, it can lead to variations and mutations such as cancer. In her book, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” Rebecca Skloot uncovers the truth behind Henrietta’s story and also shares insight into how this research has affected Henrietta’s family, spirituality and exposes how doctor’s and researches lack respect for the patient’s rights through unethical treatment and lack of

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