DUNDALK, Md. (AP) — Baltimore County is honoring Henrietta Lacks, the woman whose cancer cells continue to have an impact on medicine more than 60 years after they were taken while she was under anesthesia.
The county held a ceremony Saturday at the Fleming Community Center to announce that every first Saturday in August will be known as “Henrietta Lacks Day.” A street where Lacks lived was also ceremonially renamed in her honor.
Cells taken from Lacks in 1951 were found to be able to grow indefinitely. The so-called “HeLa” cells were crucial for key developments in such areas as basic biology, understanding viruses and other germs, cancer treatments, in vitro fertilization and development of vaccines, including the polio vaccine.