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Pugh signs bill naming Oct. 4 Henrietta Lacks Day in Baltimore

Mayor Catherine Pugh has signed a City Council bill naming Oct. 4 Henrietta Lacks Day.

It’s the third time this year government officials have declared a day of the year be named for Lacks, the Turners Station woman whose cancer cells became some of the most important in the history of medical research.

City Councilwoman Shannon Sneed sponsored the Baltimore bill.

This summer, Gov. Larry Hogan issued a proclamation declaring Aug. 1 as Henrietta Lacks Day in Maryland.

Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz also has announced that every first Saturday in August will be known as “Henrietta Lacks Day” in Baltimore County. New Pittsburg Avenue, which turns into Main Street in Turners Station — the street where Lacks lived — has been ceremonially renamed “Henrietta Lacks Place.”

Lacks died more than 65 years ago of cervical cancer at age 31. Before her death, doctors at Johns Hopkins Medicine took her cells without her consent during a diagnostic procedure. Her cells, known as HeLa cells, have helped in the development of vaccines, cancer treatments and other medical advances.



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