US Healthcare System Reflected in the Lives of Henrietta Lacks and Her Family

Was Henrietta Lacks an angel? This was the question our One Book Program asked in 2010-2011 as we focused on Rebecca Skloot’s book, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lack. We had great discussions around this text and wanted to take note of an upcoming even just down the road from MVCC. Govern’s State University will welcome one of the Lacks children to campus in a discussion about the US healthcare system. This looks to be a very interesting event that will carry forward the themes that we discussed in our One Book program. Here is the event info:

The US Healthcare System: Reflected in the Lives of Henrietta Lacks and Her Family

  • Tuesday, March 27th, 1:30 p.m.
  • Center for Performing Arts
  • Governors State University
  • 1 University Parkway
  • University Park, IL 60484

Lecture Featuring David “Sonny” Lacks and one of his adult children

In 1951, a sample of cancer cells from Henrietta Lacks was taken without her consent and used for medical research. While the research obtained through the use of Henrietta Lacks’ cells led to advances in cancer treatment, the polio vaccine, and gene mapping, the Lacks family neither benefited from, nor knew of the research. Yet Henrietta Lacks’ cells are still the most widely used in medical research today.

This free event is sponsored by the Governors State University Intellectual Life Committee, the GSU College of Health and Human Services, and the GSU College of Education.

Though the event is free, seating is limited and online registration is required by March 20 at

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