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A Wonder(ful) Woman

Janelle Bedel

Janelle Bedel

Rushville, IN June 19, 2013 –

Last night I heard from a dear friend (and another father-lost-to-Meso amazing lady) that Janelle Bedel had lost her battle with Mesothelioma. (To read more about Janelle’s battle see Mesothelioma & Me)

It is an incredibly sad day.

I’ve had my own demons in the year since my father died. I’ve been wrestling with how he left his estate, the loose ends that were left untied by his death, and what it says about our relationship. Father’s Day came and went with a couple of friends who helped note the day with kind wishes, but no conversation with my dad … the only the reminder that it was the last day I saw him alive, one year ago.

The last few weeks have brought on the deaths of some other incredible Meso warriors and it all seems to much to bear. Today certainly marks the worst of it. It’s unbelievable to think another family is torn apart by a man made disease. A young, vibrant woman taken from her family way too soon.

jenellej2

Janelle’s Journey 2: In Memory of Larry Davis

Last October Janelle and her husband orchestrated the “Miles for Meso” bike run in honor of my father Larry Davis. The proceeds went to help the Meso Foundation’s immunotherapy research grant in his name. This gesture was indicative of this Wonder Woman. Janelle continued to fight to educate people about the deadly effects of asbestos, even from her hospital bed. When arrangements were made for hospice, the fight grew in her and she did more to inform people about this cancer than anyone I’ve ever seen. Rushville Indiana now has a day to celebrate Janelle’s life, the Bedel’s have a key to the city, and most of the greater IN and OH area must’ve seen the coverage of the Facebook movement adding the Wonder Woman symbol to everything in her honor. Hundreds of people have been introduced to Janelle, her kindness, her energy and her devotion to getting the word out about what politicians are doing to all of us by not eliminating all uses of asbestos.

Left to right: Linda, Janelle & Larry and the 3rd Annual South Florida Miles for Meso event.

Left to right: Linda, Janelle & Larry and the 3rd Annual South Florida Miles for Meso event.

I really don’t know Janelle all that well. She and my dad would talk and she always kept tabs on his progress. I feel like I know her because of all that she did in honor of my dad, but in all honesty we only had a couple of conversations. I watched her from afar as she was adored by others in the Meso community, loved by family in touching FB posts and awarded in all sorts of ways by ADAO, the Rushville Mayor, Senators and those of us who just had the simple opportunity to watch her brush into our lives like a super hero. I would’ve loved to have known her better. I think we all would be lucky to have this Wonder Woman in our lives a long while longer … if only. ❤

Wishing you love and peace on your next journey Janelle. Thank you for including me and my dad in the last one.

I’m not sure yet where to make donations officially, but you can always go to the Meso Foundation’s CureMeso.org site and give in Janelle Bedel’s name or on the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization’s donation page.

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