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    July 2, 2010

    Detailed Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks FAQ Page Now Online

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    I’ve been working for a while to develop a Frequently Asked Questions page to answers the most common reader questions about The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. Well, it’s now online, and it addresses questions ranging from why HeLa cells are immortal to how the Lacks family is benefiting from the book. It also includes answers to commonly asked publishing questions, like, How do I break into science writing? You can read it online here.  If you have burning questions not answered there, leave them in the comments section below — I’ll add to the FAQ as questions arise and time allows.

    2 Responses to “Detailed Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks FAQ Page Now Online”

    1. Muffy Moose Olson says:

      Dear Rebecca,

      I don’t know if this is the appropriate place for me to comment — if it’s not, please feel free to move or delete this.

      I just finished your remarkable book “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks”. It didn’t take me long to finish it…it is such a piece of art and I do know art. I have studied painting since I was 12 yrs old (I’m 86 now!). As I read this book I felt like I was right there…I could feel the spirit of the family, the love and fury. Your relationship with Deborah was beautiful (Happy Birthday Boo!) and when Pastor Pullum called for you to come forward in his church and the congregation “gave you a hand” and ” the whole room erupted in cheers” I CRIED!

      My son, Dr. Randy Olson, told me to read your book. (He wrote a great tribute to you on his BENSHI website and you may have heard of his movie “FLOCK OF DODOS” I’m in it too!) His book “Don’t be Such a Scientist” believes in exactly what you did! You gave me a lesson in science that I NEVER WOULD HAVE DELIBERATELY STUDIED! I learned more about “HeLa cells and the division of” than I ever would have dreamed thanks to your artistic writing. And I loved the way you described the LACKS FAMILY, the beauty of this “colored” family, never with any racial tones.

      With greatest respect,

      “Muffy Moose” Olson

    2. Chris says:

      I read the book today, and really enjoyed it. I woke up and finished The Man who Loved Only Numbers. Went downstairs for coffee, breakfast and the paper. Finished those and settled down to read your book.
      And I did not stop until I finished it later in the afternoon.
      So cool that you started with a class in a community college. My younger son took his high school biology at the local community college because the high school program lacked substance (which changed for the better the next year!). My oldest son gets disability services at the community college. I also used the community college to get back to school (including taking the biology course I skipped in high school). Next year my daughter will take community college classes as a high school junior is a state program where motivated students get both high school and college credits (Washington State’s Running Start program).
      You made Henrietta Lacks and her family real three-dimensional characters. Mrs. Lacks was a real person, a loving mother and someone who deserved so much better. I hope her descendants the best.
      I am also so grateful that my daughter has benefited from research by receiving the HPV vaccine series a couple of years ago. She and countless other will be spared the cancer that took Mrs. Lacks away from her young family.
      Thank you.

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    The Henrietta Lacks Foundation strives to provide financial assistance to needy individuals who have made important contributions to scientific research without their knowledge or consent.