Star of Honey Boo BooPasses Away at Age 29

( – Sometimes America becomes obsessed with watching reality television for laughs, drama, or, as with an impending train wreck happening in slow motion, because it‘s impossible to look away. For millions, the Honey Boo Boo franchise became must-watch TV. People nationwide held a place in their hearts for Alana “Honey Boo Boo” Thompson and her family. Yet, on Saturday, December 9, one family member passed away far too soon at only 29 years old.

Thompson, 18, the baby of the family, has three older sisters, including Lauryn “Pumpkin” Efird, 23, Jessica “Chubbs” Shannon, 27, and Anna “Chickadee” Cardwell, 29. In January, Cardwell received a diagnosis of stage 4 adrenal cancer. Before doctors had ever diagnosed her, the cancer had spread to her lungs, spleen, and liver. Back pain became the first significant symptom that sent her to a doctor. She began chemotherapy in March. She also underwent a round of radiation therapy in November.

The family kept the diagnosis close to the vest until a May interview with Entertainment Tonight. June “Mama June” Shannon, the girls’ mother, discussed the diagnosis and the measures Cardwell was taking to fight the disease. She also relayed the toll the illness was taking on her daughter and the rest of the family mentally, spiritually, and physically.

Cardwell also had two young daughters, ages 8 and 11. Rather than focusing her attention on her illness, the young mother tried to make sure her daughters would never forget how very proud of them she was. According to Today, she often posted on Facebook about her “proud mama” moments with her daughters. Cardwell also shared her life with her longtime partner, Eldridge Toney.

The family released a statement on Instagram on Sunday, December 10, letting the public know that Cardwell died just after 11 p.m. on Saturday, December 9, at Shannon’s home. The statement said her loved ones, including her sisters, husband, and daughters, comforted her in her last moments.

Thompson also posted on Instagram, recalling how difficult it was to watch her sister struggle through the pain on Saturday. She said the family came together to let Anna know it was okay to let go.

~Here’s to Our Liberty!

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