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Published: Broadway Books - March 8th, 2011
Title: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
Writing with compassion and a thorough sense of the scientific implications, Ms. Skloot unravels the mystery behind the "HeLa" cells. In VA, in the 1950s, if you were black, the only medical facility you could be treated was John Hopkins. But that was a last resort- folks felt they may never be able to leave or they'd be part of experimentation.
Henrietta had to make that journey with her diagnosis of cervical cancer. And here begins the story of her "cells". Henrietta's cancerous cells were removed (for science and research) BUT without her or her family's knowledge. Those cells, HeLa, have been reproducing and aiding research around the world for over 50 years. Polio, HIV, cancers- tremendous importance.
But what about her family? With Henrietta's family, their limited knowledge of the science, this became another exploit of black folks. Through 10 years of learning about HeLa, winning the confidence of the family, Ms. Skloot has brought justice to this issue. And the profound emotions of Deborah, Henrietta's daughter, have brought Henrietta the person, mother, friend, sister, to a new understanding on what it is to give of oneself...
Truly REMARKABLE read.