State News: Immortal Cell Donor Presentation in Overland Park

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (AP) The son of a woman whose cancerous cervix led to an immortal cell line for medical research is speaking next month at Johnson County Community College.

David “Sonny” Lacks will talk Feb. 21 about what it meant to find out decades after the fact about his late mother’s contribution to science.

Henrietta Lacks was a poor black woman who died of cervical cancer in 1951. Without her consent, pieces of the tumor that killed her were removed and used for medical exploration and to build a billion-dollar research industry. The story of her life was told in the book, “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.” Students in several classes were assigned the book.

The public is invited to the free event in the Carlsen Center’s Polsky Theater.