In Rebecca Skloot's book, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks was there a "success story "? If so ,what was it?  

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lynn30k eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Yes, there were several success stories in The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. Henrietta's daughter, Deborah, struggled to understand the entire notion of her mother's cells continuing to "live". She was a child when her mother died, and was abused by various people in her life from her childhood into adulthood. Finding that part of her mother continued to exist, and that she and her family had known nothing of it, caused her a great deal of mental and emotional anguish. She worked hard in order to understand, and in the process started to value herself more and make changes for the better in her life. Although she died at the young age of 60, she achieved peace of mind and had improved her life.

Another success story is the author, Rebecca Skloot. She became a more empathetic and understanding person through her dealings with the Lacks family. She founded the Henrietta Lacks Foundation, to benefit people who unknowingly aided medical research.

A third success story is the HeLa cell line itself. Most cells grown in culture do not continue to reproduce for anywhere near as long as the HeLa line has. They have enabled many scientific advances. I worked in research labs in the 1970s, and these cells were used. I never heard any of the back story at that time, and I don't believe many people knew. As is stated in Skloot's book, the cells' donor was given a false name, for many years.

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