Eddie Francis, CEO of WFCU and former Windsor mayor, at the Windsor Regional Hospital Cancer Centre, August 13, 2019. Photo by Mark Brown/Blackburn News.

‘Michelle gave so much of herself’ (VIDEO)

The human spirit of a local cancer patient is being remembered by those touched by her.

Cancer Care Ontario has presented a posthumous Human Touch Award to Michelle Prince, a Windsor chiropractor who succumbed to cancer last year. Her award was accepted by her husband Eddie Francis, the former mayor of Windsor and current president and CEO of Windsor Family Credit Union, during a presentation Tuesday morning at the Windsor Regional Hospital Cancer Centre.

Prince was honoured for her volunteerism and her work as a patient advocate who provided a smile and moral support to those fighting cancer. Francis said it was fitting that Cancer Care Ontario would honour his wife in this manner.

“Michelle gave so much of herself,” said Francis. “She just did it because it was something that she felt needed to be done to help others. Throughout her life, she was committed and dedicated to others, so to have this award here for us as a family…it’s a remarkable moment for us, but it’s also an overwhelming moment as well.”

The presentation featured the showing of a humorous video in which hospital staff, volunteers, and patients are seen dancing in a tribute to Prince’s energetic and positive attitude. Francis said while his wife was getting treatment, she was told to actually keep things down, but she wouldn’t have it.

“They felt that it needed to be livened up,” said Francis. “They felt that although a diagnosis is something that is very serious and very significant in the lives of many, the treatment didn’t need to be.”

The Human Touch Awards are presented to people who are considered the “unsung heroes” on the front lines of cancer and kidney care, according to the Cancer Care Ontario website.

Prince was diagnosed with an advanced case of colorectal cancer in 2013 and battled it on and off for five years until she passed away. Even while going through roughly 80 difficult chemotherapy treatments, she always took time to provide encouragement to cancer patients. She even live-streamed one of her chemo treatments on Facebook, which attracted an audience of thousands worldwide.

She was also the person behind the Comfort Care Tote Program, which provides over 1,100 new tote bags for chemotherapy patients. Along with her husband, she co-chaired the Starry Night fundraiser, which raised over $1.5-million for the next Windsor-Essex Hospitals system.

 

WFCU CEO and former Windsor Mayor Eddie Francis accepts a Human Touch award from Monica Staley Liang of the Erie St. Clair Regional Cancer Program on behalf of his late wife Michelle Prince, at Windsor Regional Hospital Cancer Centre, August 13, 2019. Photo by Mark Brown/Blackburn News.

WFCU CEO and former Windsor Mayor Eddie Francis accepts a Human Touch award from Monica Staley Liang of the Erie St. Clair Regional Cancer Program on behalf of his late wife Michelle Prince, at Windsor Regional Hospital Cancer Centre, August 13, 2019. Photo by Mark Brown/Blackburn News.