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Oprah Winfrey Inspires South African Young Women

Source: Sunday Times / Getty

HBO has announce the release of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, the incredible story of an African American woman whose cervical cancer cells were used for research that ended up revolutionizing the medical world.  The film will debut on April 22 and stars Oprah Winfrey,  along with Rose Byrne and Tony winner Renée Elise Goldsberry.

Lacks died in 1951 at the young age of 31, but cells from her body, known as the HeLa cells, were the first human cells to be cloned in US history. Her cells were used, without her or her families knowledge to develop the polio vaccine and have been at the center of some of the most cutting-edge cancer, HIV/AIDS and gene mapping research done around the world.

The film is based on the 2010 New York Times best seller book The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, written by Rebecca Skloot. It’s told through the eyes of Lacks’ daughter, Deborah who is played by Winfrey, as she tries to uncover who her mother was and what happened to her cells.