Informative Speech Essay

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Vivian: Hello, it’s such an honor to be able to have you here today.
Henrietta: Hello, thank you for inviting me. I’m excited to be here.
V: So let’s start with how much you have done for this world. Your cervical cancer cells have led to many scientific advances and breakthroughs. In a CNN article, it says your cells “brought us the polio vaccine, in vitro fertilization and gene mapping. They’ve allowed for advances in cancer treatment, AIDS research, cloning, stem-cell studies and so much more. They traveled to the moon to test the effects of zero gravity, and scientists had sold and purchased them by the millions.” (Ravitz). How does it feel knowing that these came from your cells, and that you brought all of these amazing things into the world?
H: I feel quite shocked and amazed. It’s hard to imagine that these cancer cells would have the potential to do so much and have so much value because all I ever experienced with them was pain. But it is relieving to know that although I suffered, many people didn’t have to. It is comforting knowing that all my suffering wasn’t for nothing. I always just saw myself as any other black mother, but now I feel like a hero and more important knowing that information.
V: Essentially, the world has benefitted from you; what do you think about your family, or even yourself, not receiving any compensation from the start or acknowledgment? What are your thoughts about Dr. Gey and many other scientists profiting off you?
H: To put it simply, angry and upset. It is not fair that we received the recognition, we deserved so long ago, just recently. What has come from my body has helped millions of people, and yet my family and I are still suffering from the ripple effects of slavery and racism. We lived in poverty while well off white men, scientists, continued to exploit my family and me. I wouldn’t be as upset if Dr. Gey had the decency to let me know that my cells were going to be used him his experiments, but of course during that time blacks didn’t have the same rights to their own bodies as others did.
V: Many people, including myself, have learned about you and your family through Rebecca Skloot’s, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. Even your children have learned

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