Henrietta at the steel plant. [DS4] Here, Henrietta’s final

Henrietta Lack’s life was a short
one; however, long after her death, she continues to make a great impact in the
world of science with her cancer cells, which outlived her. Being the origin of
the “immortal” HeLa cells, Henrietta’s birth was the first milestone in the
development of the HeLa cell line. Therefore, had her life not proceeded as it
did, many scientifically and medically relevant events might have never taken
place.

Daughter to Johnny Pleasant and Eliza Lacks Pleasant, Loretta
Pleasant was born in Virginia on the 18th of August 1920. Loretta,
who went on to be called “Henrietta Lacks” for unknown reasons, was one of ten
sibling who lived together in the remote town of Roanoke. After Eliza’s death
in 1924, Johnny Pleasant moved his family to Clover, Virginia, where their relatives
had been cultivating tobacco for decades. As the siblings were distributed
amongst different family members, Henrietta moved in with Tommy and Chloe
Lacks, her grandparents. DS1 DS2 

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In her new home, Henrietta met her
cousin David Lacks (1915-2002), who would later go on to be her husband. Their son
Lawrence Pleasant (1935-1955) and daughter Lucile Elsie Pleasant (1939-1955),
who suffered from an intellectual disability, were born out of wedlock. At the
age of 21, Henrietta married David on April 10th, 1941. DS3 

After the tobacco farm stopped
generating enough income for the family, Henrietta and her family moved to
Baltimore. Near this city, the steel industry had begun to bloom as a result of
WWII. The
family joined an African-American community at Sparrows Point in 1942, where
they began working at the steel plant. DS4 Here, Henrietta’s final children were born: David Jr. (1947-),
Deborah(1949-) and Joe (1950-)(Watson, 2010)DS5 . Henrietta
never saw her youngest children grow up, as a malignant tumor was discovered in
her cervix whose metastasized cells led to her death in 1951DS6 .

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