Janelle Bedel, Rushville's 'Wonder Woman,' dies after long battle with mesothelioma

Woman inspired many in fight against cancer

RUSHVILLE, Ind. - Janelle Bedel, dubbed "Wonder Woman" by friends, family and those involved in the fight against mesothelioma, passed away Wednesday after a six-year battle with the aggressive cancer.

Bedel, 37, of Rushville, had dedicated the past few years of her life to raising awareness and funds for research, traveling all over the U.S. to do so.

IMAGES: Bedel inspirational in mesothelioma fight  -- http://bit.ly/194P4bv

In recent months, Facebook users changed their profile pictures to a Wonder Woman logo in tribute to her efforts.

Bedel pushed for the U.S. to ban asbestos, the toxic material known to cause mesothelioma. Earlier this week, the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization gave her an award that recognized her "commitment to education, advocacy and support to patients and families around the world."

"I don't want to see anyone else have to suffer through this. It's really hard," Bedel said in an interview with RTV6 earlier this month.

Bedel's campaign also earned accolades from Sen. Joe Donnelly.

"You have turned your own heartbreaking situation into a source of inspiration for so many of us," read part of a letter from Donnelly. "Your focus on raising public awareness of the dangers of asbestos exposure, as well as your work to eliminate it, even while enduring difficult medical treatments and precious time away from your husband and son, has motivated many to support this important cause."

When Bedel was diagnosed with mesothelioma, her son was 4 years old.

"He doesn't know me any other way than having cancer," Bedel said. "He'll ask me, 'Were you born with it?'"

Bedel's husband, Andrew, said she is an inspiration to all.

"I'm super proud of her," he said in an interview with RTV6 earlier this month. "It's hard to express it and be as tough as I can for her. She's every bit of what everybody says about her -- Wonder Woman."

Print this article Back to Top