The Immortal Life Of Henrietta Lacks Book Report

1900 words - 8 pages

The book that I read was the immortal life of Henrietta Lacks, about a black women who’s cells taken from a tumor in her cervix divides at a high rate. This is huge because Henrietta’s cells divided and didn’t die, unlike all of the other samples taken by the doctor. The author Rebecca Skloot is part of the story and becomes a friend of the remaining Lacks’, interviewing them about Henrietta. The main point of the book is the science behind the cells. Throughout the book, many discoveries happen such as the polio vaccine and testing is done because there is an unlimited amount of cells. The scientist that took the cells from Henrietta distributed them to the world and today they are still ...view middle of the document...

Finally, further examination revealed a large, hard mass in her abdomen, an inoperable cancer, which rapidly spread. The doctors increased the level of radiation therapy and ultimately hospitalized her, trying various (unsuccessful) methods for pain relief, and new tumors seemed to appear every day. Over a short amount of time, Henrietta developed tumors all over her body and she was in excruciating pain. Family members came to donate blood but nothing helped Henrietta at this point. Henrietta was pronounced dead on October 4, 1951, 8 months after her diagnosis.

The second view of the book is about Henrietta’s family and kids. They were all very confused about why HeLa cells were so famous and how significant they were. When Henrietta died, her children were still very young and don’t remember a lot. Her son Lawrence dropped out of school, got drafted and was out of the house for 2 years. Ethel and Galen moved in after Henrietta died to take care of the kids. Ethel proved to be very mean, especially to Joe who after time under Ethel’s punishment grew very angry and mad. 8 years after Henrietta died, Lawrence and his girlfriend Bobbette moved into their own house and had the kids move in with them because he learned that Ethel has been mean to the kids. Through Ethel’s beatings, Deborah had been getting molested and abused by Galen. Every time Deborah had brought the molesting and beating up to Ethel, she denied and refused to believe Deborah. Finally after Deborah hiding her feelings from Bobbette, Bobbette gets a bit of the truth out of her. Bobbette stormed over to Galen and Ethel’s house and screamed at them to NEVER touch on of the Lacks’ children again. Bobbette tells Deborah to go to school and to not mess around with her cousins in Clover because it can cause problems in her children just like she has hearing problems. At age 16, Deborah got pregnant and dropped out of school, but Bobbette made her still go. Lawrence and Sonny were doing well, but Joe was a problem. He was kicked out of the army after he kept fighting with his partners. When he came home, he killed another man in a fight. He fled, but eventually turned himself in and was sentenced to 15/30 possible years in prison. He started to change in jail after turning to Islam and changed his name to Zakariyya. Meanwhile Deborah married Cheetah, but he became bad drinking, using and selling drugs, and abusing Deborah. She eventually couldn’t take it anymore so she wanted to kill him. Luckily Bobbette talked her out of it and instead she moved out while Cheetah was at work. Eventually Bobbette finds out that her mother in laws cells were a huge industry in science. They were being used for research, being grown, taken to the moon, and studied. The Lacks family began getting interviewed a ton. Deborah continued to work and got remarried. Zakariyya (Joe) got out of prison but had trouble holding a job. Sonny ended up in jail and Deborah’s son Alfred ended up in prison and got...

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