Henrietta Lacks anonymous cell donation changed modern medicine. Her cells were used in medical studies and made millions for others, all without permission or payment to her family. Now Henrietta and her family are getting some official recognition from the VA Legislature.
HOUSE RESOLUTION NO. 74 offered February 17, 2011
Celebrating the life of Henrietta Lacks:
Were it not for the work of Henrietta Lacks’ children, especially her daughter Deborah Lacks, and Rebecca Skloot, the author of the book that finally told the story of Henrietta Lacks, the origination of the HeLa cell line might never have come to light. (We) celebrate the life of Henrietta Lacks, in honor of all who have ever faced discrimination and exploitation, and her amazing legacy, which has altered medical research and care and relieved the suffering of untold millions.
Story of Henrietta Lacks
Henrietta Lacks is the donor of the immortal HeLa cells, and the subject of the book The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot. Her cancer cells were harvested without her knowledge or permission before her death in 1951, and have been used in the development of treatments for polio, cancer, and AIDS. Her family was unaware of her contribution to science; she and her family are now being honored.