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 George Heidenrich. All rights reserved.
Read more about the subject in Rebecca Skloot’s book:
THE IMMORTAL LIFE OF HENRIETTA LACKS.
Diana Murray has challenged us to write a poem about an unlikely hero this month. Click HERE for more details.
Post your poem on our August 2016 padlet. All contributions will be included in a wrap-up celebration on Friday, August 26th, and one lucky participant will win a personalized copy of her fun new picture book from Roaring Brook Press: