Late Carmel resident’s mission to eradicate breast cancer lives on
By Mark Ambrogi
Mary Beth Gadus lost her long, courageous battle with breast cancer at age 63 in August.
However, the Carmel resident’s mission of raising research funds to eradicate metastatic breast cancer through her 100 Voices of Hope organization will go on.
“Mary Beth was this wonderful mixture of creativity and ability,” said Mary Maxwell, the development director for Indiana University Simon Cancer Center, part of the IU School of Medicine. “She was so energetic even cancer couldn’t keep her down. She created 100 Voices of Hope with the future always in mind, if not for her then for some other patient. She had so many friends and so many advocates. Everyone at the Cancer Center is 100 percent on board to keep this going. Death is not stopping Mary Beth Gadus.”
As October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, 100 Voices of Hope will hold Comedy for Cures Oct. 12 at Bub’s Burgers, 620 S. Main St., Zionsville. The dinner will be at 6 p.m. with comedian Dave Dugan performing at 8 p.m.
Maxwell has been with the IU School of Medicine since 1989 and in the development position since 1996. Maxwell helped Gadus start 100 Voices of Hope.
“Mary Beth came up with the idea, and I helped her with the form,” Maxwell said. “We set up the funding mechanism, and we provide all the infrastructure for the outreach she did. Then we report on the progress being made.”
Maxwell said Mary Beth really believed in research.
“She gave a face to breast cancer research because she said research was the only thing that was going to extend her life and other women like her,” Maxwell said.
Maxwell said 80 percent of breast cancer victims are cured and move on.
“But for the 20 percent who have the disease that spreads, it’s a killer,” Maxwell said.
Gadus was diagnosed with cancer at age 35.
“Mary Beth’s cancer over decades turned into something modern medicine didn’t know how to treat,” Maxwell said. “She experienced the first wave of personalized medicine here in Indianapolis.”
Mike Gadus said it’s important to continue to help his late wife’s organization.
“She started this as an idea in 2008, and in eight short years we’ve raised over a million dollars,” Gadus said. “My youngest son is not married and probably has the most time along with me to continue this effort.”
Gadus has two sons, Michael, 32 and Matthew, 30.