The Immortal Life Essay

1675 Words7 Pages
I am, Henrietta Lacks, and this is my story. My personal war on cancer was lost. I have died in pain, tormented by the tumors covering my body like a web, at the John Hopkins Hospital. But my life didn’t end at that point. Unexpectedly, the cancer tissue, which was taken from me by Dr. Gey, continued on living. Even though I was dead, my cells were alive - full of miracles to unfold and misery to cause. The wonderful abilities of my cells were praised all over the world – they were a hope of finding the cures for the diseases that never though to be found. Even cancer didn’t seem so undefeatable. Medicine triumphed on the yet to be started war on cancer. But my cells were not only about science and potential medical progress that…show more content…
No one, even I, couldn’t retell this story better than she did. As I was lying on my deathbed in agony waiting for the end, Dr. Gey came to me and said: “your cells will make you immortal” (p.66) and that’s where it all started. Dr. Gey named my tissue He-La cells claiming that it stands for the name of one of his patients – Helena Lane. He preferred keeping the information of the cell’s origins in a secret. Even though, I am still struggling to understand why he would not want to show his gratitude for my contribution to science through acknowledgement of my name, Rebecca has offered her explanation to that. According to her findings, Dr. Gey was simply afraid that my family would halt the research and start demanding their rights for the cells, which I think on the one hand would be a justifiable action to take considering my family’s poor financial circumstances. But at the same time, I see, Dr. Gey’s aspirations about the future of the medical progress, where He-La could facilitate his research on cancer and research of other scientists on various diseases. Perhaps, If my family knew about the value of my cells they would either demand a price so high that a scientific community wouldn’t have an easy and cheap access to these tissues, or my family wouldn’t let using the cells at all. Although, I can’t dismiss the sufferings that my family went through as the truth about my cells
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