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    May 27, 2011

    “Henrietta Lacks Day” Celebrated with HeLa 4 Life Bike-a-Thon in Roanoke

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    On May 14, 2011, children of Roanoke, VA (Henrietta Lacks’s hometown) celebrated “Henrietta Lacks Day” and participated in a HeLa 4 Life Bike-a-Thon fundraiser at the Forest Park Baptist Church to benefit the Henrietta Lacks Foundation, a non-profit organization founded by Rebecca Skloot, author of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.

    “The kids were extremely excited and ready to ride!” said Marion Ware, the event organizer. The Ryders received “Thank You, HeLa” buttons from the Henrietta Lacks Foundation (see photo below, top right). Henrietta’s son, David “Sonny” Lacks Jr and several of Henrietta’s grandchildren and great grandchildren made a trip down from Baltimore to cheer the Ryders on (see photo below bottom right).

    “The ‘HeLa Ryders’ presented Henrietta Lacks’s great-granddaughters with a framed picture of the Henrietta Lacks birthplace sign we made,” said Mrs. Marion. “The great-granddaughters were delighted and also said a few words, along with other members of the Lacks family. It truly was a beautiful event!”

    Roanoke Council Member Anita James Price presented the Lacks family with an official proclamation, and members of the local media covered the event, including WDBJ7 TV.

    The Henrietta Lacks Foundation
    The Foundation has already awarded several grants, including grants covering tuition and book expenses for eight descendants of Henrietta Lacks, and health care expenses and emergency needs of several members of her immediate family. The Henrietta Lacks Foundation strives to provide financial assistance to needy individuals who have made important contributions to scientific research without personally benefiting from those contributions, particularly those used in research without their knowledge or consent.

    For more on the Henrietta Lacks Foundation, visit HenriettaLacksFoundation.org.

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    The Henrietta Lacks Foundation

    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.