Cell line: HeLa Cells
Cell type: Human cervix carcinoma
Origin: Taken from cervix carcinoma of a 31 year Henrietta Lacks in 1951
Morphology: Epithelial-like cells growing in monolayers

Henrietta Lacks Family

Henrietta Lacks was an African-American woman who unknowingly changed the world of medicine with her immortal cells. She was born on August 1st, 1920 in Roanoke, Virginia to Eliza and John Lacks, and was the eldest of 10 children. She was raised in a very large, close-knit family of devout Baptists, whose faith provided a strong sense of community and a focus on the importance of family.

Henrietta was married to her husband, Day Lacks, at age 14 and had five children. She loved her children and enjoyed spending time with them, although she was quite poor and often had to work hard to provide for them. She worked in the tobacco fields and in the local hospital where she often assisted with procedures and diagnoses.

Sadly, Henrietta was diagnosed with cervical cancer in 1951 at age 31. After surgery and radiation, her doctors took some of her cells without her consent, which would become the first successful immortal cell line. Henrietta passed away in 1951 at the young age of 31, leaving behind her grieving family and an unknowingly huge contribution to science.

The Lacks family did not know about her cells until decades later when the cell line was being used for a variety of medical breakthroughs. This was especially hard for the family, as it left them feeling powerless and confused. Although Henrietta never saw the many medical advancements that her cells have made, her family has still been greatly impacted.

Her husband Day Lacks was devastated by her death, as were her children and extended family members. He raised her five children on his own and did the best he could to provide for them. He also did a great job preserving Henrietta’s legacy, ensuring that her story and her contribution to medicine were never forgotten.

The Lacks family is proud of what Henrietta has achieved, and they have tried to take comfort in the knowledge that her cells have changed the world of medicine. Although they have struggled with the fact that they never gave consent for her cells to be used, they have seen the good that has come from her contribution and is thankful that she was able to make such a huge impact.

Henrietta Lacks is a symbol of hope and inspiration for her family, even though her legacy was never shared with her while she was alive. Her story and her cells have had a lasting impact on the world of medicine, and her family is forever grateful for the impact she made.

HeLa Cells - News