A Windsor woman with colorectal cancer, who fought against COVID-19 restrictions to see her Michigan parents one final time, died Tuesday morning.
While fighting for her life, Diane Costello was also in a weeks-long battle with the federal government so that her elderly American parents could get an exemption from the 14-day quarantine, and the family could be reunited before her death.
Costello's dying wish was granted on Sept. 17, as her parents — Marolyn Hotchkiss, 77, and Norman Hotchkiss, 80 — were able to see their daughter at a local hospice after suiting up in personal protective equipment.
Costello's daughter Shayla posted about her mom's death on Facebook Tuesday.
"As many of you know my mom has always been a fighter, she has more strength than anyone that I have ever met. She was the most kind hearted and positive person and would give her shirt off her back for anyone who was in need," reads part of Shayla's post.
"I know this will not be easy, but I always got my strength from my mom and I will continue to do so. I am so thankful that she was able to see my grandparents before she passed away. My mom will always be remembered for her contagious smile and her ability to make a lasting impression on everyone she met."
NDP MP for Windsor West Brian Masse had joined Diane's fight against the government and also posted a statement about Diane's death.
He said her battle "has given inspiration, determination and hope to many others across the country as we all struggle with COVID and compassion."
Diane was diagnosed with colorectal cancer two years ago and in March she was told that there were no other options because treatment had stopped working, according to Shayla.
Her parents were kept from seeing Costello in the last six months of her life, as they were restricted by the Quarantine Act, which makes it mandatory for anyone crossing the border to self-isolate for a two week period to monitor for symptoms of the disease.
Costello's parents had their own health concerns, which prevented them from quarantining without medical treatment for that period of time.
At the time, the federal government told CBC News that the Quarantine Act did not provide exemptions "for compassionate reasons, such as visiting critically ill loved ones in hospitals/long-term care facilities, or the attendance of funerals," but an exemption for the Hotchkiss' was eventually provided.