IU Health University Hospital

Diagnosis: “It Doesn’t Stop Me From Living.”

Patient Story

Jessica Gadzala travels four hours round trip for treatment at IU Health Simon Cancer Center. She said it’s the only place she feels comfortable receiving treatment for what is considered a rare form of cancer.

She first entered the hospital in 2009 to be treated for pneumonia. A scan showed a tumor in her lungs and shortly afterward, Jessica Gadzala had her right lung removed. The diagnosis: Adenoid cystic carcinoma, a rare form of cancer that can exist in different parts of the body including the breasts, lung, brain, and trachea.

“After my lung was removed, they just kept an eye on things and then it came back in the left lung and the kidney,” said Gadzala, 34, a resident of Merrillville and mother of three boys ages, 6, 14, and 15.

A patient of Dr. Shadia Jalal, Gadzala has received chemotherapy since May of 2017, coming to IU Health Simon Cancer Center every three weeks.

“There are no new tumors. This treatment seems to be keeping them at bay. My organs are functioning and I feel well most of the time,” said Gadzala.

On a recent trip to IU Simon Cancer Center Gadzala chatted with nurse Lauren Suter who has worked at IU Health for two years. During her treatment Gadzala talked about her busy life following her boys to basketball, band and baseball.


“I came here because it’s a teaching hospital and I felt I would have options. Everyone has been great,” said Gadzala. “The treatments are working and I’m not going to let this stop me from living.”

- T.J. Banes

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Cancer care includes a variety of treatments, systematic therapies, surgery and clinical trials.

Lung Scan

If your loved one is a heavy smoker and over 55 years old, encourage them to get a lung scan to find out their risk for cancer.