Although she has been gone almost a year now, Janelle Bedel’s legacy still lives on in many Rush County citizens’ hearts and won’t ever be forgotten.
The local “Wonder Woman” lost her battle on June 19, 2013. She was recognized last month in Washington at the Asbestos Awareness Conference. Her family was there to accept the award in her honor.
“They do this conference every year. They have had it in Las Vegas, Washington and lots of other places,” Marcia Cameron said. “This was the 10th annual conference. Each year they recognize different people, this year three were recognized, one of them being Janelle. It is amazing the people at this conference.”
For those who do not know her story, Janelle was diagnosed with stage 2 Mesothelioma in 2007 at the age of 31 and her long battle has been chronicled in the pages of the Rushville Republican and in the hearts of the community of Rushville. How Janelle contracted this form of cancer is a mystery. It is commonly due to being exposed to materials containing asbestos.
Dubbed at Rushville’s “Wonder Woman,” Janelle, who had been very active in supporting other “Mesothelioma Warriors” internationally, was awarded the Alan Reinstein Award last year by Reinstein’s widow, Linda Reinstein, just a day before Janelle’s untimely death. Linda serves as president/co-founder, following in the footsteps of her husband and the organization’s first president Alan Reinstein, of the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO).
“It was my honor to present Janelle with the 2014 Alan Reinstein Award to recognize her commitment to education, advocacy and support to countless patients and families around the world,” Reinstein said. “The award, named in memory my husband, is very special to me. I traveled to Rushville to present it to her on June 18, 2013, because she had become too ill to attend the upcoming conference. She held the award on her lap and we posed for one last picture together. The United States Congress also recognized Janelle for her amazing accomplishments in letters and actions to forever remind us of Janelle. I send her family ADAO’s support and prayers as they continue their healing journey and I will light a candle in loving memory on Wonder Woman Day.”