The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks- Book Review

Wow this has been one crazy week and a half!  My beloved dog passed away, I had tests back to back, drove through a massive storm, lost electricity at my parents for a week, and flew to Georgia to visit my friend and her kiddos. With all this craziness going on around me I had more than enough time to read this fabulous book. 

If you are in the medical field like I am, I think you would love this book.  It was so good. This book broke my heart.  It is about a woman named Henrietta Lacks.  She was a poor African-American in the late 1940's ear 1950's who was diagnosed with cervical cancer.  The only specialized care she could get for free at the time of segregation was at Johns Hopkins hospital.  While seeking treatment, the doctors at Johns Hopkins obtained her cells without her permission, studied them, realized she had some precious cells,  harvested her cells and eventually sold them.  She her cells are still alive to this day! Her cells, which are named HeLa, have been responsible for the making of polio vaccines, cloning, gene mapping, chemotherapy, invitro fertilization and much much more! Meanwhile her family is so poor they can't even afford health insurance while the medical field is profiting from her cells.  Rebecca Skloot has done a fabulous job telling this story.  Even if you don't know anything about the medical field or medical terminology Rebecca has simplified it and explains what every thing means so you can understand it.  It jumps from the doctors/medical point of view, to the families point of view and how each person of her family has been effected by it .  This was a great book.  I just can't believe her cells have been responsible for so many things, and not once has she been mentioned.  I highly recommend this book!

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