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Clover Native’s Contributions To Science Lives On

The contributions of Henrietta Lacks, a Halifax County native whose cells were removed from her body without her consent while she was battling cancer in 1951, were recognized Saturday by 5th District Congressman Tom Perriello. The congressman’s office issued a statement Friday evening saying he plans to present a statement in the Congressional Record recognizing the Clover native’s contributions to medical science.

The Lacks family conducted a memorial dedication service in honor of Henrietta Pleasant-Lacks on Saturday at St. Matthew’s Baptist Church in Clover.

Family, friends and supporters attended the service paying respect to Lacks, who has been without a headstone to mark her grave for well over 55 years.

She passed away six months after the cells were removed from her body in 1951, but her cells have lived on contributing to the study of cancer, helping to develop the polio vaccine and saving lives today.

HeLa cells — grown in a culture from a few taken from her tumor — now are part of a multimillion dollar industry.

The amazing story of how all this came about is the subject of the New York Times bestseller, “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, by Rebecca Skloot.