Alana Thompson, known as reality TV star Honey Boo Boo, has paid tribute to her sister Anna “Chickadee” Cardwell following her death at 29 years old.
In a social media post, the 18-year-old Here Comes Honey Boo Boo star shared with her 1.1m followers that her eldest sister had passed away, following a months-long battle with stage four adrenal carcinoma. “This is one post I wish I didn’t have to make,” Thompson began the lengthy Instagram caption, which featured a photo of the famous family posing with their mother, Mama June Shannon, and Cardwell before her death.
“Last night we all surrounded Anna with love and let her know it was okay to go,” Thompson continued. “Unfortunately around 11pm Anna took her last breathe [sic]. Anna was in so much pain last night but now as a family we all know she is at peace now. I really don’t know what to say as my heart is completely broken.”
Thompson - who rose to fame on TLC’s child beauty pageant show, Toddlers and Tiaras - explained that it “hasn’t been easy” watching her 29-year-old sister battle cancer since her diagnosis in January. “Anna was a fighter and still is,” she continued. “Lord please wrap your arms around her two babies and our family as the next couple of days will make this all a reality.”
Cardwell - the eldest child of Shannon, 44 - is a mother to two daughters: Kaitlyn Elizabeth, born in 2012, and Kylee Madison, born in 2015. In addition to Thompson and Cardwell, sisters Jessica “Chubbs” Shannon, 27, and Lauryn “Pumpkin” Efird, 23, were also featured on the family’s several reality shows.
“I’m so glad that you waited til I was home to take your last breath! I would’ve loved for you to get to see me graduate college but I know you will forever cheer me on in heaven!” Thompson said. “We will all make sure your legacy lives on forever. And I promise to always make sure to celebrate our birthday like you never left!”
“The sky looks a little bit different today,” she added. “We will always love you Anna. You hit me hard with this one Anna but I know your [sic] in a better place now and pain free forever!”
Shannon first announced the news of Cardwell’s death on Sunday 10 December, by posting the same photo on Instagram. “With the breaking heart, we are announcing that @annamarie35 is no longer with us,” she wrote on Instagram. The Mama June: From Not to Hot star revealed that Cardwell had passed away at her home at 11pm the night before.
“She gave one hell of a fight for 10 months,” Shannon continued. “She passed away with her family around her ... and we will be updating y’all with more information as we get it today. We love y’all and continued prayers and thoughts for our family doing [sic] this difficult time.”
Cardwell, who was diagnosed with cancer earlier this year, had been undergoing treatment up until her death on Saturday evening. Her passing came shortly after her family pleaded with fans to pray for Cardwell and keep her in their thoughts. “Y’all we are asking for prayers for our family as we are going through this process,” Shannon shared on Instagram on Friday. “We really appreciate y’all for all the thoughts and prayers and we will update y’all whenever we can.
“Just know that all of your thoughts and your prayers are very much appreciated during this time,” she said, adding the hashtag: “#CancerSucks”
The mother of two previously underwent a series of tests after experiencing abdominal pain, and doctors discovered cancer in her lung, liver, and kidney. She underwent her first round of chemotherapy in March. Thompson later confirmed her sister was diagnosed with stage four cancer in an Instagram Story.
In May, Cardwell shared on Instagram that she was in the middle of her third round of chemo. However, Shannon revealed to Entertainment Tonight just two months later that Cardwell’s cancer had turned terminal following a fourth round of chemo.
Cardwell’s rollercoaster relationship with Shannon has played out on several reality shows, including TLC’s Here Comes Honey Boo Boo and WE tv’s Mama June: From Not to Hot.