Henrietta Lacks’ ‘Immortal’ Cells

Journalist Rebecca Skloot’s book investigates how a poor black tobacco farmer had a groundbreaking impact on modern medicine.

The Discovery Of The Immortal Hela Cells

The contributions of Henrietta Lacks are immeasurable when you consider the thousands of ground breaking advances that have been made due to the discovery of her immortal Hela - cells.

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The Stolen Legacy Accidentally Revealed

For over 50 years John Hopkins, as well as the whole medical community, has still never compensated or credited the descendants of Mrs. Lacks for the historic contribution she gave to the medical industry. Only after an act of greed did the family discover this. So much thanks should go to Oprah Winfrey's sacrifice to bring this outstanding landmark story to the forefront! It also leaves another stain of how the colored race has been a major contributing culture in the evolution & advancement of human civilization.

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A Family Legacy Hidden

In a time decades before the civil rights movement, white supremacy, racism allowed the open exploitation of the ex-slave coloreds. So Johns Hopkins hospital had no legal obligation to inform or compensate the Lacks family for the numerous medical advancements. This stands yet another example of the loss of opportunity & inheritance the now 43 million ex-slaves living in America.

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Seeing The "Big" Picture

"Maryland congressional delegation introduces legislation to honor Baltimore's, Henrietta Lacks"

Maryland’s congressional delegation has introduced legislation to honor the life of Henrietta Lacks by examining access to cancer clinical trials and how it affects traditionally underrepresented groups.

In a news release, U.S. Representatives Elijah Cummings, Dutch Ruppersberger and John Sarbanes joined Senators Chris Van Hollen and Ben Cardin in introducing the “Henrietta Lacks Enhancing Cancer Research Act.”

In a statement, Cummings said the legislation would require the Government Accountability Office to publish “a report on the barriers facing traditionally underrepresented communities to participate in federally-funded cancer clinical trials.”

Before Lacks died of cervical cancer in 1951, doctors treating the Baltimore resident at Johns Hopkins Hospital took her cells without her consent.

Those cells were then turned into the “HeLa” cell line, which has become famous for being “immortal” and for being used to develop a treatment for cancer, HIV and Parkinson’s disease.

The delegation wrote that black females have the highest death rates among those diagnosed with cancer and that 20 percent of cancer clinical trials fail because of a lack of patient enrollment.



Copyright © 2019, The Baltimore Sun, a Baltimore Sun Media Group publication

It's now time to give proper recognition to Henrietta Lacks for the discovery of the Hela cells. This immortal contribution continues to help make medical science and advancements possible for the whole world.

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