Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists for the past 60 years have known her only as “HeLa.” Henrietta was a poor black tobacco farmer who died of cervical cancer and whose “HeLa” cancer cells — taken without her knowledge or consent in 1951 — were determined in a lab setting to be uniquely immortal. “HeLa” cells were then cultured and distributed and quickly became one of the most important tools in medicine, vital for developing the polio vaccine, treatments for cancers, cloning, gene mapping, in vitro fertilization, and myriad other medical research purposes. “HeLa” cells exist in labs on every continent and have even been to the moon. Henrietta’s cells have been bought and sold by the billions (and for billions of dollars) — yet she has remained virtually unknown, and her family is so poor that surviving family members can’t even afford health insurance.
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks has been on The New York Times bestseller list for over three years. It has been translated into more than 25 languages, and will soon be made into a movie staring Oprah Winfrey. Rose Byrne will star opposite Oprah Winfrey in HBO’s Henrietta Lacks film. Information on HBO’s Henrietta Lachs film.
Rebecca Skloot has a B.S. in biological sciences and a MFA in creative nonfiction. She is founder and president of the Henrietta Lacks Foundation and remains in close contact with the Lacks family.
Join best selling author Rebecca Skloot on Thursday, Aug 25 at 7:00pm Glenbard West High School, 670 Crescent Blvd. Glen Ellyn 60137.
All GPS events are free and open to the public.
Glen Ellyn Public Library Book Discussion Thursday, August 18, 2016 – The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
The Glen Ellyn Public Library has partnered with Glenbard Parent Series. Discussions are held at the Glen Ellyn Public Library, 400 Duane Street, Glen Ellyn IL. All are welcome.