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My name is Pat and I live in Florida. My skin will never be smooth again and my hair will never see color. I enjoy collecting autographs and playing in Paint Shop Pro.,along with reading and writing. Sometimes, I enjoy myself by doing volunteer "work" helping celebrities at autograph shows. I love animals and at one time I did volunteer work for Tippi Hedren's Shambala Preserve.

Monday, January 13, 2014

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

 

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot.

Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: Broadway Books;(March 8, 2011)
ISBN-10: 9781400052189

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Amazon.com Review

From a single, abbreviated life grew a seemingly immortal line of cells that made some of the most crucial innovations in modern science possible. And from that same life, and those cells, Rebecca Skloot has fashioned in The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks a fascinating and moving story of medicine and family, of how life is sustained in laboratories and in memory. Henrietta Lacks was a mother of five in Baltimore, a poor African American migrant from the tobacco farms of Virginia, who died from a cruelly aggressive cancer at the age of 30 in 1951. A sample of her cancerous tissue, taken without her knowledge or consent, as was the custom then, turned out to provide one of the holy grails of mid-century biology: human cells that could survive--even thrive--in the lab. Known as HeLa cells, their stunning potency gave scientists a building block for countless breakthroughs, beginning with the cure for polio. Meanwhile, Henrietta's family continued to live in poverty and frequently poor health, and their discovery decades later of her unknowing contribution--and her cells' strange survival--left them full of pride, anger, and suspicion. For a decade, Skloot doggedly but compassionately gathered the threads of these stories, slowly gaining the trust of the family while helping them learn the truth about Henrietta, and with their aid she tells a rich and haunting story that asks the questions, Who owns our bodies? And who carries our memories?

Wow.  Just … wow.

What an incredible story of both Henrietta Lacks and her entire family.

If you read this book and don’t come away having so many different feelings at nearly every chapter, then you don’t realize that this book is NOT fiction!

Many wrongs were done, but many rights happened because of them…however.. it never really makes it right.  I know that may not make sense, but you really have to read this story to know what I mean.

This story really did need to be told.. I am glad I came across this book and decided to read it.

5 Comments:

Blogger Kailana said...

I really liked this, too. It definitely packed a punch!

11:51 AM  
Blogger Cath said...

I'd heard of this book but had no idea what it was about. Will keep an eye out for it now.

5:52 PM  
Blogger OldLady Of The Hills said...

I am familiar with this story and though I haven't read this book, I have always felt the "wrongs" could have been "righted", in some small ways as compensation for the GREAT Gift this woman gave Science and Medicine. In many ways it is a harrowing story about greed---the major problem in us as Human Beings that at this point seems to be more than a raging epidemic....! It seems, in my view, a fatal disease that is bringing the culture and society down and making us a species of sociopaths....As you can see, I feel strongly about this....! This story is a perfect example of how people are used and abused without care or without any feeling of moral obligation. Everyone should read this book.

1:20 AM  
Blogger DesLily said...

kelly: it's really a story that needed to be told so I am glad someone got to tell it and tell it honestly

Cath: It's not always a nice story but it is an honest one..!

Naomi: you are so right about everyone should read this book. I had no idea, but then when one isn't looking for information on something like this you'd never know... felt really bad for her daughter...

6:10 AM  
Blogger Carl V. Anderson said...

Such a fascinating story, and a scary one as well. When this first came out there were several interesting discussions about it on NPR.

I'm all for reveling in the benefits that scientific advancement has given us, but it is frustrating to see that abuses like this occurred and probably still do, or at least the cynical side of me thinks that they must.

4:19 PM  

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