This is a pivotal moment in the book because whether Mary knew it or not she has just written the name that would spark a media and science frenzy. HeLa was born and so was the controversial and painful life that the Lackses would come to know through time. The scene in which I am referring to can be found on page 37. An exact quote from this would be "using the first two letters of the patients first and last names. After writing "HeLa"..." (37).
Dr. Gey had sent over Henrietta's cervix to the lab.
Mary knew that proper lab etiquette was vital to getting accurate results.
She headed into one of the four airtight cubicles.
She cleaned the cement floor with water, and her lab station.
She put Henrietta's cervix tissue over a bunsen burner to sterilize it.