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Lauren Grady

on 8 November 2012

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Transcript of HeLa

Chapter 29: A Village of Henriettas Th Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks Why did we choose this chapter? Jurassic Park This chapter is when Deborah, Henrietta's daughter, gets excited about her mother's cells, instead of her just having anger towards the subject. She converts her purpose from trying to receive some of the monetary compensation for her mother to simply wanting to learn everything she can about her, and making sure the rest of the world knows too. The chapter begins with Deborah calling Skloot, after 10 months of wanting nothing to do with her. She agrees to speak with Skloot under a few conditions: that 1) She tell everyone to get her mother's name right 2) She let everyone know that Henrietta had 5 children; she didn't want Elsie to be ignored any longer 3) That she find out what happened to both Elsie and Henrietta. Finally, Deborah starts using her anger and frustration towards the situation and venting it in a positive way, as motivation to research her mother. A major turning point for Deborah in her healing process is when she receives a framed FISH (fluorescence in situ hybridization) image of Henrietta's chromosomes (which HeLa cells helped develop). This small act of kindness by Christoph Lengauer showed Deborah that not all scientists are heartless and cruel. Chapter Summary ... With her new found faith in humanity and her mother's cells, Deborah is bursting with excitement to find out as much as she can about her mother. However, she has been misinformed and has false notions regarding what exactly HeLa cells have done; she thinks they cloned people in London. Deborah percieves that her mother is the inspiration behind such concepts as those in movies like Jurassic Park and The Clone. "...for her, the line between sci-fi and reality had blurred years earlier..." (Skloot 237). Deborah shows Rebecca everything she has left of her mother, including her favorite article about her mother that states, "Henrietta Lack's cells thrived. In weight, they now far surpassed the person of their origin and there would problably be more than sufficient to populate a village of Henriatta's." (Skloot237). Summary Continued..... Even though Skloot has proven a trustworthy companion to Deborah throughout the process, Deborah has been hurt so much throughout her life by people she thought she knew and loved (Day, Galen, etc.) that she has learned to trust no one. When Rebecca reaches for Henrietta's medical records sprawled out on the hotel bed, Deborah yells and snatches them back, even admitting, "I don't know who to trust anymore." (Skloot 240). Theme: Trust broken down isn't very easily built back up... The end.
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