March 30, 2015

Former Mayor Bill Hudnut Battling Heart Failure, Throat Cancer

Former Indianapolis Mayor Bill Hudnut was interviewed on WFYI's No Limits in December. - Doug Jaggers

Former Indianapolis Mayor Bill Hudnut was interviewed on WFYI's No Limits in December.

Doug Jaggers

Former Indianapolis Mayor Bill Hudnut is talking publicly about the dire prognosis of his congestive heart failure and a recent diagnosis of throat cancer.

Hudnut shared his story with the Indianapolis Star's Matthew Tully, for a column that was published Sunday evening. 

"The doctors have told me it's probably a question of months and not years," Hudnut said Sunday by phone from his home in Maryland. But, he added: "The key is to not give into it and to try to remain optimistic, and to not be a drag on the people around you. I don't want to mope around, saying 'woe is me.' You have to keep carrying on and keep the faith."

Hudnut is on a medical leave of absence from Georgetown University where he is executive director of the real estate program in the School of Continuing Studies. And he told Tully that he and his wife, Beverly, won't be able to make it to Indianapolis for this week's NCAA's mens Final Four as they had hoped.

The 82-year-old who left the ministry to become a politician is Indianapolis' longest serving mayor. He will forever be remembered for spearheading the effort to build the Hoosier Dome, and luring the Colts from Baltimore to play under the stadium's inflated roof.

In December, Hudnut was honored by the city with a statue near the corner of Maryland Street and Capitol Avenue outside the Indiana Convention Center.

In an interview with No Limits host John Krull just before the public ceremony to dedicate the statue, Hudnut said he appreciated the gesture but admitted he was a little embarassed. He said the accomplishments were a team effort. 

"I don't think you can say that I accomplished anything by myself, except to provide some leadership," Hudnut said. "I always likened the job of the mayor to an orchestra leader who gets a lot of different people playing in harmony with each other."

Here's video of that interview:

Hudnut has created a page on www.caringbridge.com to provide updates on his condition. On the page, he writes:

"I’m fighting really hard, and the prayers, encouragement, and good wishes I’ve already received have been the 'best medicine' yet."

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