NYPD Officer Michael Hance, who rose to viral fame in 2015 for dancing with a Pride celebrator to Michael Jackson’s “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough, passed away on Sunday after losing his battle with brain cancer at age 44.
A 17-year veteran of the police force, Hance was a first responder at the World Trade Center attacks on September 11, an obituary for the late officer said.
The New York Daily News reports that his illness may have been connected to exposure to harmful elements at the site of the fallen towers. The CDC has linked over 5,400 diagnoses of cancers to the 9/11 attacks.
A GoFundMe campaign established to help Hance pay for his medical bills described him as “a true family man” whose “greatest joy” was his two daughters. As of Tuesday, the crowdfunding site had raised more than $21,000 from 322 people.
“I was as impressed as I was happy,” Brian Downey, the president of the NYPD’s Gay Officers Action League, told the Daily News. “He isn’t a member of GOAL or the LGBT community, but we were elated to see that video. It represented the true spirit of the police family. That’s what 99.5% of cops are like.”
“He always liked to help people. He always liked to do good,” Hance’s brother Peter told New York Daily News. “He was definitely a people person. He has like 8 million friends,” he added, referring to the million of times the video was viewed online.