Tera Honderich Ovarian Cancer Foundation, Inc. was formed to honor the memory and fight of Tera Lynn Wetzell Honderich. Tera bravely fought Ovarian Cancer for 17 years, half of her life! We want to continue Tera’s legacy by providing education, scholarships to students affected by Cancer, helping Ovarian Cancer patients and their families, and simply telling Tera’s story.
Tera’s story began the end of her junior year in high school in Goshen, Indiana. Tera had a nagging pain in her abdomen. She went to her family doctor who referred her to the IU Simon Cancer Center in Indianapolis where they diagnosed her with a borderline ovarian tumor. The doctors told Tera this was good news since borderline tumors rarely become cancerous, and are usually treated successfully with surgery.
In June of 1996, when Tera’s friends were planning on where they were going for college, she was having the tumor removed and a complete hysterectomy was performed. Tera was fine for seven years.
In 2003, Tera was experiencing pain in her back. A tumor had recurred and wrapped itself around her kidney. She underwent her second surgery. The doctors at IU Simon Cancer Center removed the tumor along with her kidney. Within a few months, her IU doctors found more tumors and she was operated on again. The worst news was that Tera’s disease had changed from borderline into full-blown ovarian cancer. Advanced ovarian cancer is curable in only 10 to 15 percent of cases.
The next 10 years, Tera went through countless clinical trials . Dr. Matei, Tera’s oncologist from IU Simon Cancer Center, found that standard chemotherapy did not work for her. Tera progressed with the chemotherapy, and it made her sick.
Tera never gave up hope!! She married Joshua Honderich on August 21, 2004. Tera worked at Goshen Community/Indiana Community Bank until May of 2012. Tera was a fighter and willing to try anything!! Tera passed away peacefully on Thursday, October 18, 2012 with her husband, Josh; dog, Finley, and childhood
friend, Sonya, by her side. This was just 5 days past her 34th birthday. Tera spent half of her life with this disease and fighting every step of the way! Shortly after Tera passed away, Don Riegsecker found a blog on an Ovarian Cancer sight by Tera. “Cancer may take away my hair and ability to do certain things but it will never take away my spirit and it will NEVER take away my hope that I WILL fight this!!!!!!!” Posted April 14, 2010 Tera only left us on Earth a few months ago, but we miss her everyday! Tera’s smile, strength, loyalty, and courage is a legacy worth carrying on!