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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: October 15, 2018 03:07 PM
From: Representative Margo L. Davidson
To: All House members
Subject: Designating October 4, 2018, as “Henrietta Lacks Day”
Henrietta Lacks was born in Roanoke, Virginia, on August 1, 1920, and possessed very unique cells which have led to significant medical breakthroughs. Although she passed away on October 4, 1951, shortly after receiving a diagnosis of cervical cancer, her cells still live on today. Without her knowledge, a sample of her cancer cells were extracted while undergoing treatment and sent to a cancer researcher who soon discovered that, unlike most cancer cells, Henrietta’s cells had the capability to thrive in tissue culture. Since this discovery, Henrietta’s cells have been cloned and shared throughout the world for medical research.

Due to their unique properties, Henrietta’s cells have been used to study the effects of radiation, toxins, viruses and zero-gravity on human cells and were crucial in the development of the polio vaccine. Her legacy lives on through the countless patents involving her cells, annual events to teach the world about Henrietta and her cells and the Henrietta Lacks Foundation.

Henrietta’s contribution has saved countless lives and has had a lasting impact on the world. It is for these reasons that I will be introducing a resolution designating October 4, 2018, as “Henrietta Lacks Day” in Pennsylvania.

Please join me in co-sponsoring this important legislation. Please direct any question to whaigood@pahouse.net.

Introduced as HR1175