Things that make a hero:
Something you are
Something you have
Something you do
Being in the right place at the right time
Or something you don’t even know about.
In the last group is Henrietta Lacks.
When she had cancer,
The doctors took it out.
Eventually she died.
The doctors discovered her cancer did not die.
They never told her.
They never asked her permission.
Her cancer is still alive more than 60 years later.
It has been the basis for discovering:
Many new drugs,
Cloning, polio vaccine,
Gene mapping, in vitro fertilization.
It even has its own name: HeLa.
All biology researchers the world over know about it . . .
But hardly anyone knows her name.
© 2016 by George Heidenrich
(You can read about it in Rebecca Skloot’s book:
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks)