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Henrietta Lacks statue.

Henrietta Lacks: Immortal Cells

Field review by the editors.

Roanoke, Virginia

Henrietta Lacks was born in Roanoke in 1920 and died, age 31, of cancer. During her medical treatment at Johns Hopkins, cells were surreptitiously collected from her -- and after her death kept on living! They have, according to a sign next to her bronze statue, been used in the development of vaccines, and in research against cancer, polio, leukemia, and AIDS (You can see some of Henrietta's cells at the Center for PostNatural History in Pittsburgh).

The statue of Lacks, who was black, was created by Lawrence Bechtel and unveiled in October 2023. It replaced a Robert E. Lee monument that previously stood on the same spot.

Henrietta Lacks: Immortal Cells

410 3rd St. SW, Roanoke, VA
Downtown, on the southeast corner of 3rd St. SW and Church Ave. SW, across from the municipal building.
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Nearby Offbeat Places

Mini-Graceland, Elvis CityMini-Graceland, Elvis City, Roanoke, VA - 1 mi.
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In the region:
Cursed Self-Rocking Cradle, Lynchburg, VA - 45 mi.

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