Saturday, April 2, 2011

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

The Immortal Life of Henrieta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot  is one of the most interesting books I read.   It tells the story of the woman who's cells are responsible for many of the vaccines we use today.  She has saved many lives with her cells. The only problem is that she never knew it, her family never knew it, and she never got the credit for it that she deserved.  Henrietta was an African American woman in the late 1940s that was diagnosed with cervical cancer.  She went to the doctor and they took some of her cells without her knowledge.  These cells were "magic", they reproduced in a lab, these cells were used to test vaccines and many other things, they were sold across the world to different labs, and they were used in many ways.   Henrietta did not know that her cells were being used and she did not survive her cancer.  This story fascinated me.  Knowing that people were making profits from taking cells from someone who did not have any knowledge of it. The amazing story of how her cells saved people, and also the sad and troubled life her family lived. I loved this book for what it was, a document of an amazing life of someone who saved many people without even knowing it.  I think everyone especially women should read this book.

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