If you knew your death would save billions of people . . .

United States
May 11, 2017 5:42pm CST
Of course the inevitable demise of the human body host is unfortunately death; however if you KNEW that a specific cell was in your blood sample that had the potential to be used in several methods of changing lives biologically, would you feel better about the inevitability ? It is a difficult question because most people do NOT like to think of the end. When your life as an adult has just begun, you have found the love of your life and you are blissful in the contract of marriage, you have had some children, you have accomplished some things and all of a sudden a doctor diagnoses the worst: YOU have developed cancer of the cervix. This is what happened to a woman named Henrietta Lacks, a beautiful black woman whose story was portrayed valiantly by Oprah Winfrey, who plays the daughter of this late great legend, I am sure very few people ever heard of. The reason many people have never heard of her is because her real name as well as her remarkable contribution to science has gone unnoticed since it was virtually removed from ALMOST every public document AND till Oprah and a woman writer named Rebecca Skloot decided it was time to let the world know. The specific cell in this womans body is known as 'the immortal cell' which is from a very long line of cells that were studied when things like genetic research began, or when transplantation of organs, or simple rejoining of digits (fingers or toes instead of amputation), were to be experimented with in order to save lives and even prolong them despite other invasive methods of curing could have been performed. The question is deep, the answers many, and I for one would be tinkled pink KNOWING I could too, save billions of peoples lives should my cells fall into the same category. But for all of you, I am just curious if you knew how would you feel and second, have you seen the movie The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks ?
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11 people like this
7 responses
@NJChicaa (38374)
• United States
11 May 17
The book that Skoot wrote is excellent. She wrote it long before Oprah got involved. I haven't seen the movie as I don't have HBO. I have been teaching my students about HeLa cells for as long as I've been teaching biology. Henrietta is getting her due credit.
2 people like this
• United States
12 May 17
I kind of thought you would be familiar with this one @NJChicaa as I recall your field of academic influence is in Biology so I very much appreciate your visit and comment. I am wondering though why the scientific research team that extracted the original cells from Henrietta Lacks did NOT wish to make her contribution public at the time since they knew it was so ground breaking ?
1 person likes this
@NJChicaa (38374)
• United States
12 May 17
@enlightenedpsych2 they took the cancer cells without her permission.
1 person likes this
• United States
12 May 17
@NJChicaa true because back then there was no privacy act followed even on removal of such things, correct ? thank goodness the protocol is much different now, I think as it has been over a decade since me being in the medical field practicing
1 person likes this
@DianneN (76157)
• United States
16 May 17
I've heard of neither. Very interesting!
1 person likes this
• United States
16 May 17
Well @DianneN should you check it out let me know how you found it
1 person likes this
@DianneN (76157)
• United States
16 May 17
@enlightenedpsych2 I certainly will. Thanks!
1 person likes this
• United States
16 May 17
@DianneN good and now I am going back to bed since this allergy manifestation is trying to get the best of me and I cannot, won't let that happen so I got my homeopathic allergy formula made, drank, and sleep is in my midsts . . .
1 person likes this
@Gabugs (1763)
• United States
12 May 17
What a fascinating theory! Thank You for sharing it @enlightenedpsyche2 This is the first time I heard about it. However, I am an organ donor. This entails permission for making use of my organs as deemed fit after my demise.
1 person likes this
• United States
12 May 17
Your welcome @Gabugs and highlighting my name for it to go to my page it MUST be spelled right enlightenedpsych2 no e towards the end right before the #2
1 person likes this
@Gabugs (1763)
• United States
13 May 17
@enlightenedpsych2 Thanks so much for the correction.
1 person likes this
• United States
14 May 17
@Gabugs you are welcome and if you are a mom, Happy Mothers day to you I only have a cat so that is my baby !
@just4him (113259)
• Green Bay, Wisconsin
12 May 17
I've not heard of her or the movie. However, to answer your question, I have given some thought to my demise and have decided to donate my body to science where it will benefit whoever needs what I have to offer. I am already an organ donor as stated on my driver's license.
1 person likes this
@just4him (113259)
• Green Bay, Wisconsin
12 May 17
@enlightenedpsych2 Still, I'm donating my body.
1 person likes this
• United States
12 May 17
@just4him and all the future people who will need something of you, are truly thank ful
1 person likes this
@1hopefulman (27379)
• Canada
9 Jun 17
Fascinating story! I had never heard of her until today. Of course, if I could help in some way to ease human suffering, I would.
1 person likes this
• United States
12 Jun 17
It is interesting when my mother worked as a histologist in the early days before I was born to also never be told about this incredible medical contribution, it only came out recently and I am so glad it did , thanks @1hopefulman
1 person likes this
• Preston, England
12 May 17
not heard of this movie before - sounds fascinating
1 person likes this
• United States
12 May 17
It had very many good points in it as well as shedding light on some very bad but I am sure you will find it interesting and when you watch it, let me know thanks for commenting @arthurchappell and have a great weekend
1 person likes this
@marguicha (91969)
• Chile
12 May 17
I would love to read more about this. It seems to be very important.
1 person likes this
• United States
12 May 17
Maybe you can Goggle the info OR check your local library @marguicha and perhaps with the link I provided, there could be more info from that ? I could find some links and if allowed, put them here in a comment for you . . . and thank you so kindly for visiting and letting me know what you thought