Henrietta Lacks : The Cornerstone Of Medicine ( Mrdovekeeper )

852 WordsDec 6, 20154 Pages
Henrietta Lacks, a simple tobacco farmer, wife and mother of five, is seemingly unknown around the world, yet her cells have created medical history. Her cells were taken without her or her family’s knowledge, yet those cells are considered the cornerstone of medicine (MrDovekeeper). Even though some people argue that scientists would have figured how to fight deadly viruses and learn about the human cell and how it works without her cells, Henrietta Lacks ' cells have changed the world by helping scientists figure all this out. Henrietta Lacks was born on August 1, 1920 in Roanoke, Virginia (Skloot 18). She married her first cousin David “Day” Lacks on April 10, 1941, and later on that year the couple moved to Baltimore, Maryland at the urging of their cousin Fred. On January 29, 1951 Henrietta went to Johns Hopkins Hospital suffering from abdominal pain. When Dr. Howard Jones, the gynecologist on duty at Hopkins at the time, examined Henrietta he found a knot at the neck of her womb and determined it was cervical cancer. To treat cervical cancer at this time doctors placed tubes of radium inside the patient’s cervix, and sewed it in place there, like they did with Henrietta (Skloot 33). While Henrietta was unconscious, the doctor removed two dime-sized pieces of tissue, one from her tumor, and one from her normal tissue. These samples were then sent to Dr. George Gey, where they were given the name HeLa, and they would start to make medical history. A few days after

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