Henrietta Lacks’ Final Request: A Testament of Maternal Love and Family Values

Henrietta Lacks, the remarkable woman behind the groundbreaking HeLa cells, had a profound impact on medical science. However, amidst her enduring legacy, it is essential to acknowledge the personal aspects of Henrietta’s life, including her final request. In her last moments, Henrietta made a poignant appeal to her cousin, Day, urging him to take good care of her children. This request serves as a testament to Henrietta’s unwavering maternal instincts and her deep concern for the well-being of her family.

The Significance of the Request

Henrietta’s final request, as recounted in Rebecca Skloot’s book “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks,” demonstrates her strong attachment to her children and her determination to ensure their future security. The request highlights the immense love and dedication that Henrietta held for her family, even in the face of her own imminent passing.

A Reflection of Maternal Instincts

Throughout her life, Henrietta placed great importance on family values. She cherished the bonds she shared with her loved ones and strived to provide a nurturing environment for her children. By entrusting the care of her children to Day, Henrietta revealed her confidence in his ability to continue the legacy of love and support that she had fostered.

The Desire for Future Well-being

Henrietta’s final request also underscores her understanding of the challenges her children would face without her presence. She recognized the profound impact of her absence on their lives and sought to ensure that they would be cared for in her absence. This act of selflessness demonstrates Henrietta’s unwavering commitment to her children’s well-being, even as she confronted her own mortality.

The Importance of Family Values

In the broader context of Henrietta’s life, her final request exemplifies the values she embraced. Family played a central role in Henrietta’s life, and she understood the significance of providing a solid foundation for her children’s future. Her request reflects the deep-rooted belief that family bonds should be nurtured and protected, even in the face of adversity.


Henrietta Lacks’ final request serves as a poignant reminder of her profound love and concern for her children. It highlights her unwavering commitment to family, even as she confronted the challenges of her own health. By entrusting her children’s care to Day, Henrietta ensured that her legacy of love and support would endure beyond her own lifetime.


What was Henrietta Lacks’ final request?

Henrietta Lacks’ final request was for her cousin, Day, to take good care of her children.

Why did Henrietta make this request?

Henrietta made this request because she had a deep concern for the well-being of her children and wanted to ensure that they would be cared for after her passing.

What does Henrietta’s final request tell us about her?

Henrietta’s final request tells us that she had strong maternal instincts and placed great importance on family. It reflects her love and dedication to her children and her desire for their future security.

How did Henrietta’s final request demonstrate her selflessness?

Henrietta’s final request demonstrated her selflessness by prioritizing the well-being of her children over her own needs. Despite facing her own mortality, she wanted to ensure that her children would be taken care of.

Did Henrietta’s final request reflect her values?

Yes, Henrietta’s final request reflected her values. Family played a central role in her life, and she believed in nurturing and protecting family bonds. Her request demonstrated the importance she placed on family values.

How does Henrietta’s final request connect to her overall legacy?

Henrietta’s final request adds a personal dimension to her enduring legacy. While she made significant contributions to science through the HeLa cells, her request reminds us of her humanity, love for her family, and the impact she had on those closest to her.

Was Day entrusted with the care of Henrietta’s children?

Yes, Day was entrusted with the care of Henrietta’s children as per her final request. This decision reflects Henrietta’s trust in Day’s ability to continue providing love and support to her children.

How did Henrietta’s final request impact her children’s lives?

Henrietta’s final request had a profound impact on her children’s lives. It assured them that they would be cared for and provided a sense of security and stability during a difficult time. Her request also highlighted the importance of family bonds and the legacy of love she left behind.