WE ARE: 5 women navigating our twenties in search of peace, happiness and love (or not). WE WRITE: about everything and nothing. From the insane to the mundane- you will find different paths taken, lessons learned and lives lived. WE THINK: you’ll enjoy it...Warning: Consumption of these views may leave you enlightened while intoxicated.


The View From Here will conclude on Friday, October 1, our third year anniversary. We would like to spend this month thanking all of our readers, followers, haters, visitors, family, friends, and fans for your continued support, encouragement, and comments over these past few years. Thanks y'all!
-The Five Spot

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Into Infamy

This is Henrietta Lacks
Born in 1920 and Died in 1951

I often joke that I learned everything I know from television. I’m kidding…sort of. On Sunday night I was half paying attention to the news when the story of the woman above, Henrietta Lacks came on. Prior to this news story I had never heard of her. She was a Black woman who died at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore in 1951 from cervical cancer. When she died she was 31 and left behind a husband and five children. So what right?

The polio vaccine, cancer and viruses research, in vetro fertilization and gene mapping have been made possible with HeLa cells. HeLa cells are able to reproduce themselves an unlimited number of times outside of the human body. HeLa cells have been sold to many scientific firms and researchers for decades for sums that now total billions of dollars. These HeLa cells where taken, without permission, from the cancerous cells of Henrietta Lacks in 1951. The family that was left behind have not received any money from the use and reproduction of Henrietta’s cells...ever.

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Today, scientific journalist Rebecca Skloot’s book
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
will be released. I read this
excerpt after the news story aired and I must say that I am totally intrigued by Henrietta, her family and the HeLa cells. I found it even more interesting that some members in her family are unable to afford healthcare. Hmmmm. I know that all people are deserving of healthcare-but shouldn’t the Lacks family have a get healthcare free pass? I mean that have HeLa cells in them also. Or maybe at the very least can someone throw a couple dollars in the Lack’s family direction? I think I have far more than two cents to throw in on the subject of American institutions taking advantage of poor black folks for the sake of science or saBut I’ll keep my change and spare ya’ll…But it does ire and annoy me that medical and scientific research companies have greatly profited from this woman’s DNA. And I am not berating these companies for their research because humanity as a whole have benefited. But I think most of us learned to do the right thing some where around before the 1st grade...

This woman who worked as a Virginia Tobacco farmer to support her family. This woman who died a year after her daughter was born from a silent killer. This woman, a black woman who died in nearly 60 years ago, but who’s DNA has helped many beat cancer, concieve children and live longer than expected.
Stories like these make me wonder what else I don't know I don't know....

See You In Seven

1 comment:

mjr-banx said...

WOW! Never knew!