The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks Part 3

What did you think about the reading?

I think that the author did a really good job in ending this book. I am pretty sure that any questions readers would have would have been answered at this point. I believe that Part 3 was the best part in the book too.

What did you learn?

For this part of the book, I learned how much of a big deal the “HeLa Cells” were to the family and to the public. There were always so many reporters that were questioning the family. Plus, this was around the time when Lawrence and Sonny found out that there was a huge profit being made with the “HeLa Cells”, and still after so money years later, nobody in the family had received any compensation or money. Also, in 1984,  scientist finally found a probable cause for Henrietta’s cancer. He discovered a new strain of a sexually transmitted disease called Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) and found that “HeLa Cells” tested positive for it. Soon after, Rebecca Skloot, called Deborah after her panic attack, asking for a interview of her, but Deborah immediately refused. About a year later, Deborah called Rebecca Skloot and agreed to do the interview only if she gets Henrietta’s Lacks name right and also include the story of Elsie in her book. Soon after Rebecca Skloot agreed to these terms, the two met and they discussed the story of Henrietta Lacks.

What questions do you still have?

Well, after reading the final part of the book, most of my questions have been answered, but now I have new questions again. Even after all this had happened and the book got published, did the family get any money or compensation at all? Did this book have a positive or negative impact on the Lacks family. And are the “HeLa Cells” still very popular today, and are they still being used everywhere in the world?


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