Henrietta Lacks was an African-American woman who was the unwitting source of cells (from her cancerous tumor) which were cultured by George Otto Gey to create the 1st known human immortal cell line for medical research.
This is now known as the HeLa cell line.
In 1955 HeLa cells were the 1st human cells successfully cloned.
DIAGNOSIS: On January 29, 1951, Henrietta went to Johns Hopkins Hospital because she felt a knot inside her. It all started when she asked her cousins to feel her belly, asking if they felt the lump that she did. Her cousins assumed correctly that she was pregnant. But, after giving birth to her fifth child, Joseph, Henrietta started bleeding abnormally and profusely. Her local doctor tested her for syphilis, which came back negative, and referred her to Johns Hopkins.
Johns Hopkins was their only choice for a hospital, since it was the only one in proximity to them that treated black patients. Howard Jones, her new doctor, examined Henrietta and the lump in her cervix. It was like nothing he had ever seen before. He cut off a small part of the tumor and sent it to the pathology lab. Soon after, Jones discovered she had a malignant epidermoid carcinoma of the cervix Stage 1 (cervical cancer).
Read more about this amazing woman’s death and legacy at the source: Daily Black History Facts