Posted on June 5, 2019
Janelle “Wonder Woman” Bedel was a Mesothelioma Warrior, mother, and wife from Rushville, Indiana who won the 2014 Alan Reinstein Award. This award, named after the first ADAO President, recognizes Janelle’s commitment to education, advocacy, and support to patients and families around the world. During her six-and-a-half-year mesothelioma battle Janelle never complained; in fact, while in pain, she offered others hope, faith, and love. Janelle also had a special gift – the art of communication. She could purr like a kitty or roar like a lion to have her powerful messages heard and understood. Her battle with this aggressive cancer led her to work diligently for change.
She bravely shared her journey in her “Janelle’s Mesothelioma Journey” video which she created herself. As she said, “I hope this video will show people we’re not statistics, we’re real people.” She also wrote about her battle with mesothelioma in her Share Your Story submission, “I Will Never Be the Same Again.”
“Even though this disease is awful, I feel it was my purpose in life to be able to reach out and touch and change people’s lives; I believe that with prayer and with God anything is possible and that one person can make a difference,” Janelle said.
Community members continue to work relentlessly to share Janelle’s story and raise mesothelioma and asbestos awareness. The powerful voices of community members have been recognized by the mayor of Rushville. The mayor awarded Janelle a medallion for her efforts and has dedicated June 6th as Janelle Bedel “Wonder Woman” Day in Rushville!
From 2007 – 2014, the Rushville Republican chronicled Janelle’s battle and her mission to ban asbestos.
Through her dedicated family and community, Janelle’s work continues and they prove, together, change is possible.
ADAO would like to thank Janelle’s amazing family for continuing in their efforts to educate the public about the harms of asbestos, and for fundraising to support ADAO’s initiatives. It is with the support of the community around us that we are able to make change happen.