After a week, she felt something was wrong with her body and she turned up pregnant with her fifth child. Her cousins, Sadie and Margaret, told her that the pain probably had something to do with the baby. “However, Henrietta said that it was not, because the knot is there before the baby” (Skloot 36). After her son was born, Henrietta told her husband, David Lack, to bring her to the doctor because she was bleeding in her vagina when it was not her time. They went to a clinic at Johns Hopkins hospital.
My Aunt Kathie was diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer in 1993. She was 47 years old. I remember going to the hospital and visiting her. I even remember buying a troll nurse doll. I wasn’t allowed to see her, but my mom brought me in her room anyway.
Her cells also made is possible to diagnose genetic diseases and to discover chromosomes and cloning (Skloot 100). If Henrietta did not “donate” her body to science, then we would not be alive right now. This shows how the human body is important to medical advancements. Without a person to test it on, doctors and medical researchers would not know all the information they do
Henrietta lacks was sentenced to death with that cancer, yet her cancer had cells were found to be immortal. Great profits made from this without her ever knowing. Doctors found it wasnt worth telling her since at that time there wasn't any obligations or laws specifying about taking DNA without consent. While she thought she wasn't being cured she was actually just being used, although created a breakthrough in science which changed it forever. After dying her family started understanding what cells were and started to see how the doctors and companies took advantage of her.
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, written by Rebecca Skloot, was published in 2010. The book is non-fiction and discusses the life of Henrietta Lacks, a woman who developed cervical cancer and passed away in 1951. Although Henrietta passed, her cancer cells remained immortal, were saved by researchers and doctors, and used for numerous studies, medicines, and cancer research. Although the subject of the book is very scientific in nature, Skloot uses very accessible language so that many people can comprehend the issues the book discusses. Skloot retrieved information for the book by spending time with Henrietta’s family, most notably Henrietta’s daughter Deborah who provided Skloot with information in her journal.
The more time that was spent studying these cells, the more questions that arose in the quest to find the cure for cancer, the greatest in medicine were being defeated by the cells of an African American woman. Therefore, when the statement is made that Henrietta beat science, I take it as her condition and cells were so complex that even the greatest minds could not figure out why they did what they did. She still contributed to many other solutions that could save millions and billions of
She stayed with her grandfather who also took care of her other cousins, one in particular whose name is David (Day) Lacks. As Henrietta grew up, she lived with both her Grandpa Tommy and Day and worked on his farm. Considering how Henrietta and Day were together from their childhood, it was no surprise that they started having kids and soon enough got married. As the years continued, Henrietta noticed that she kept feeling like there was a lump in her womb/cervix and discovered that there was a lump in her cervix. Soon enough, Henrietta went to Johns Hopkins Medical Center to get this check and learned that she had cervical cancer.
This novel illustrates Skloot’s footsteps that uncover the truth behind Henrietta Lacks, whose cells are “immortal”, which launched a medical revolution. Skloot introduces her obsession with Henrietta Lacks by saying “I’ve spent years staring at that photo, wondering […] growing in laboratories now than there ever were in her body” [Skloot 2]. As one of the chapters quotes, “Henrietta Lacks was born Loretta Pleasant in Roanoke, Virginia, on August 1, 1920.” [Skloot 18]. She went to Johns Hopkins Hospital claiming that she has a knot inside her womb, but the doctors did not take any action. After her son Joe was born, she goes to the hospital and starts radium treatment.
Prior to the successful cultivation of HeLa cells, failure was met with every attempt to grow cells in culture. This roadblock became the focused work of Dr. George Gey of Johns Hopkins University. Johns Hopkins served most of the impoverished black community seeking care in the immediate Maryland area. This provided a goldmine for medical research that was justified by its “generosity” and Samaritan charter. Henrietta Lacks decision to seek care for her cervical cancer unknowingly designated her as arguably the single greatest contribution to science and medicine.
International examples would be the New York Times or the Sunday Times. Core argument ‘The immortal life of Henrietta Lacks’ is about a black woman who died in 1951. Her cancerous cervix cells, taken without her knowledge by a doctor at John Hopkins Hospital, were the first ‘immortal cells’, meaning they could be cultured in a lab. Her cell line, named HeLa (after Henrietta Lacks), then became one of the most important tools in medicine. However, this book not only focusses on the scientific story of HeLa cells, but also on the story of the woman behind the cells.