HeLa

While listening to Famous tumor, a radio lab talking about Henrietta’s tumor and her family I was torn between many feelings. I was never sure on which way the conversation was going to swing. In the beginning of the radio show they talk about the tumor, which is also known as HeLa. HeLa cells are cells in a type of tumor that are immortal an never die. These cells have been growing for the past 63 years. The cells were taken from a thirty-one year one African American woman named Henrietta Lacks. The doctor that removed her tumor was named George Gey. Gey was able to isolate certain cells and continue to multiply the cell for many years. The cells are still being grown today and can be bought on line. One thing that I found interesting was that Gey named the cell HeLa after Henrietta Lacks. I was familiar with the HeLa cells, But I was not aware of that. I felt many emotions while I was listening to this audio. One emotion that stuck with me was being happy. There were many times that I felt sad for the family, but the last emotion that I felt was happiness. I find it interesting that although there is all that sadness in the audio, the happy emotion is the one that stick. The reason I felt happy was because towards the end on the audio Rebecca, the daughter who has been struggling with the thought that a piece of her mother is still alive finally understands, and has some piece with the situation. When Rebecca learned about the HeLa cell she believed that their could be clones of her mother walking around in the world. She could not understand how her mother could be dead, yet still be alive. When I first heard that I could not believe that Rebecca did not understand. After listening to more of the audio I learned that the reason Rebecca did not understand was because no one took the time to explain it to her. That made me angry because it would have only taken one person to go out f their way and it would have saved Rebecca the Pain of not knowing. Towards the end of the audio is when they talk about a scientist that works with HeLa that invited Rebecca to the lab and explained everything. She was able to hold a vile that had the HeLa cells. That was what made me happy. She was finally able to understand. The last thing about the audio that I enjoyed was listening to Rebecca’s cousin singing to her when she was crying. I love music and I love to sing. I have sung in many church choirs. I sang once at an African American church and the way the choir sang save me chills. There were some people in class that felt that listing to that was a slam on Rebecca, but it was not. She was the one that gave them the recording, and if I had to guess I would say she was proud that her faith got her through a rough time. I just want to go on record and say that her cousin had a beautiful voice and I listened to him singing a few times. I even felt moved by the music.

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