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Henrietta Lacks

Last episode of the season!! Leah talks about the life and immortality of Henrietta Lacks. Even though Henrietta wasn’t a doctor or nurse because of her there have been over 74,000 studies that have lead to treatments and vaccines for polio, HPV, cancers and more. The gals also talk about the best things they have done for their own health.

Listen Now NewYouTube Version

Show Notes & Extras & Corrections

  • Previous in Medical Month Bonnie talked about Menstrual Cups, Katie talked about Lillian Wald, and Kerra talked about Virginia Apgar.
  • Get-to-know-you question: what do you feel is the most important thing you have done for your own health?
  • Accountability, eating less meat, mental health, and journaling
  • Leah’s one cool thing about Henrietta Lacks!!


  • Book by Rebecca Skloot (links to the Gal’s Guide library)
  • Movie starring Oprah
  • Henrietta’s early life
  • Kids & marriage
  • Johns Hopkins
  • Felt a “knot”
  • Henrietta’s treatment (AKA nightmare fuel)
  • Henrietta’s death
  • Shifting to her cells but remembering she’s a person first
  • CORRECTION: George Gey’s name is pronounced “Guy”
  • What was special about her cells?
  • What was the use of her cell?
  • Why were her cells so different? Sci Show has more

  • Did the family know?
  • Who owns the tissues and cells?
  • How would you feel if it was your family?
  • CORRECTION: How did the family find out? We mentioned on the show the possible public papers and Rebecca Skloot who was researching for the book. We did more digging…the family found out it bits. The first was in 1972. An article about the death of George Gey was published and a family friend read it because he worked at the National Cancer Institute and just to happened to be working with HeLa cells. He met the daughter-in-law of Henrietta Lacks and she told the family “Part of your mother is alive!” Confusion grew. In 1976 a Rolling Stone writer interviewed the family and told them someone was making a lot of money from the cells. In 1985 Deborah wanted to know more about her mother and started asking Johns Hopkins for answers, what she found mentally broke her for a while. Rebecca started interviewing the family as well as sharing all the info she found with the family starting in 1999.
  • Human Genome Project
  • Ted Talk by the Grandchildren of Henrietta Lacks, Veronica Robinson & David Lacks

  • Do you have fear or mistrust of doctors?
  • Doctor visit stories
  • Kerra tries to decipher bad handwriting
  • Katie was trying to end on a positive note but…
  • We’re at Starbase Indy this week with the Uhura Training Academy!!!
  • We are working on a new Friday show
  • We return January 6th with cool things about First Ladies!

From all of us gal pals
near and far
we wish you a happy holidays
and a trip to the bar
so spread some holiday cheer
cause we are going to be
talking to you next year!

Medical - Leah square


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What if you could only share 1 cool thing about a topic? Would it be about ancient history? Would it be breaking news? Would it be safe for work? A group of gals gathers to present to you one cool thing on topics like painting, gaming, movies, music and more.

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