Fred Francis to continue city council duties in face of cancer diagnosis

The Ward 1 councillor says he's prepared to undergo treatment.

Windsor’s Ward 1 councillor publicized his diagnosis via Facebook

Ward 1 Coun. Fred Francis says he is fighting cancer and is prepared to undergo treatment. (Fred Francis)

City of Windsor's Ward 1 Coun. Fred Francis will be continuing his duties while he undergoes treatment for cancer.

The city councillor announced his diagnosis on Facebook Wednesday evening. He wrote he has been diagnosed with nodular sclerosis Hodgkin's lymphoma.

According to the Canadian Cancer Society, that form of cancer usually starts in lymph nodes in the neck or chest.

"As terrifying as cancer is, I am prepared to undergo treatment knowing that many others in our community have faced a similar challenge," wrote Francis.

While he will continue his role as city councillor, he asked for the public's patience, saying "it will be several months" before he's back to his regular pace.

Community support for Francis has been pouring in.

"You are a very good man and I wish you nothing but the best and a speedy recovery," wrote Kim Perisic. And Graziette Doe wrote "our thoughts are with you, please let us know if there is anything we can do to help in anyway."

Francis pointed to his sister-in-law, Michelle Prince, who fought her own battle against cancer. She died in November at the age of 46.

"Now, I begin my own unique cancer journey and I am determined to show the same dignity, strength and positive spirit that Michelle demonstrated during hers," he wrote.

Council colleagues were also quick to offer support to Francis.

"The Francis family has gone through so much," said Coun. Chris Holt. "My heart goes out to the entire family."

Holt said that although council didn't sit through the holidays, Francis had never mentioned health problems before. 

"He's a young guy, he's in great shape," said Holt. "It really does say that cancer doesn't discriminate."

Coun. Joanne Gigniac said she knows Francis is going to come out "in a good way" and praised his positive outlook. 

"I'm sure that I will join with most people in Windsor in saying Fred is going to be in our thoughts."