This quote appears on page 168 of the Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot. It is spoken by Lawrence, one of Henrietta's sons. It refers to the reality that science benefited from the cells harvested from Henrietta's body that went on to form the HeLa cell line. While many of the research scientists who collected her cells did not benefit from them financially, the scientists certainly collected honors and renown from her cells. Her cells were used in breakthrough medical discoveries related to AIDS, cancer, and other areas of research.
However, Henrietta's family was left out of any benefits resulting from their mother's cells. Most likely, she herself did not know that her cells were being collected, and her family did not know until many years later that her cells were being used in research. At the time the book was written, her family lived in poverty, and the irony was that they didn't even have health insurance. This disparity points to several issues. First, people did not receive consent when their cells were collected for research, and they were not informed about future uses for the cells. African-American people such as Henrietta Lacks were in particular not consulted about their own medical treatment and were not consulted when they were used in medical experiments in the past. In addition, health care in the United States still does not benefit everyone. While some (wealthier people, often white) are the recipients of privileges and higher standards of care, many poor and African-American people are not able to benefit because they do not have insurance or the right kinds of insurance.