A North Carolina neighborhood that decorated for Christmas even before Halloween to honor one of their beloved residents is in mourning today after Michelle Fadel lost her battle with cancer.
Christmas was the 57-year-old’s favorite holiday and last fall, doctors told her she probably wouldn’t make it to the end of December.
The mother of three and grandmother of six was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2010. The cancer spread to her bones in 2013 and by last year had spread to her brain.
Still, she was always lively and fun, and her home was filled with laughter.
She told PEOPLE in October, “I have a lot of reasons to be thankful, I’ve survived six years with cancer.”
Fadel always had such a positive attitude that neighbors wanted to celebrate her, many of them putting up Christmas decorations in October last year. Fadel and her husband Dan would take nightly strolls down their street just to enjoy the lights.
This morning, her daughter Holly Johnston posted on her Facebook page that her mom had passed away on Wednesday.
“We knew it was coming but nothing can fully prepare for your Mom and best friend to be gone. We saw her suffer so much in the end that she was longing for heaven. She fought like no one we have ever known and Dan was by her side serving her faithfully until the last kiss. I’m sure she’s in heaven laughing and smiling…We love you Mama.”