EXCLUSIVE: Mama June breaks her silence on the heartbreaking death of her 29-year-old daughter Anna ‘Chickadee’ – opening up for the first time about her agonizing final days and how she ‘fought’ her cancer to the very end
Mama June has spoken out for the first time since the devastating death of her 29-year-old daughter Anna ‘Chickadee’ Cardwell.
The reality star, 44, best known for her appearances in Toddlers and Tiaras and later Here Comes Honey Boo-Boo, opened up to DailyMail.com about her tragic loss, describing her daughter’s painful final days – and how her children were dealt with her death.
Anna, who was survived by daughters Kaitlyn (11) and Kylee (8), died of adrenal cancer on December 10 at the age of just 29.
Mama June, whose real name is June Shannon, and the rest of the family have now detailed the day of her death, speaking from their home where her daughter spent her final days.
Mama June has spoken for the first time since the death of her daughter Anna ‘Chickadee’ Cardwell
Anna, survived by daughters Kaitlyn (11) and Kylee (8), died of adrenal cancer on December 10 aged just 29
Speaking exclusively to DailyMail.com, Mama June shared that Anna stayed at her home in the days leading up to her death.
‘She passed away in mine and Justin’s house. Eldridge and the girls and her lived there three weeks and one day.
“(I’ve) heard her scream my name in the night, heard her oxygen cord twirling … She won’t keep her oxygen on for anything.”
The doting mother continued: ‘The day before she passed, Kaitlyn helped us give (Anna) medicine – and she would only take it for Kaitlyn.
“The last things we all made sure we said these past few days… I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said I love you.”
Anna’s sister, Lauryn ‘Pumpkin’ Efird, 24, added: ‘She fought until the end. You could tell at the end that she was ready. She was done.
“She fought as hard as she could, so I told her, ‘It’s okay, everybody’s here.’
The mother of two passed away when the rest of her family ‘everyone stood around her in the living room.’
Anna was diagnosed with stage four adrenal cancer in January 2023 after she complained of stomach pain
Mama June, whose real name is June Shannon, and the rest of the family have now detailed the day of her death
Lauryn continued: ‘It definitely happened very quickly. It went from one to five years to 10 months very quickly.’
Asked how Anna’s children are coping, Mama June explained: ‘I think Kaitlyn is still in shock. Unlike Kylee, Kaitlyn was there when Anna took her last breath.’
Lauryn added: ‘Everybody was screaming because we just didn’t really know what to do or anything.
“I can’t imagine if it keeps me up at night, I’m sure it must keep Kaitlyn up sometimes, but teenagers aren’t going to say that. We always make sure we ask her how she’s doing, if she’s okay, tell her it’s okay to cry.’
Discussing the impact of the loss, June said: ‘I have my good days, I have my bad days – certain things I will do remind me of her…
‘We talk about her quite a bit. We all carry her with us.’
Lauryn added: ‘It sucks. To go on in life and … that she’s not here really kind of fucks with you at the end of the day.’
But she said their focus now is to ‘keep her memory alive for her children’.
“We always remind them ‘your mother loved you, your mother is always here with you.’
The family said their focus now is to ‘keep her memory alive’ for Anna’s children. In the photo: Mama June with husband Justin and Anna’s daughter Kaitlyn
Anna underwent chemotherapy and immunotherapy in a bid to beat her cancer, but over the summer the From Not to Hot star revealed Anna’s cancer was terminal (pictured with husband Eldridge)
Mama June first announced Anna’s death in a heartbreaking Instagram post which read: ‘It is with a breaking heart that we announce that @annamarie35 is no longer with us.’
Mama June first announced Anna’s death in a heartbreaking Instagram post that read: ‘With a broken heart we announce that @annamarie35 is no longer with us.
‘She passed away peacefully in my home last night at 11.12pm. She put up a hell of a fight for 10 months, she passed away with her family around her…
“We love you and have continued prayers and thoughts for our family (during) this difficult time,” she added.
Along with the caption was a photo of Mama June and her family, including Anna, who had short hair amid her cancer treatments.
Anna was diagnosed with stage four adrenal cancer in January 2023 after she complained of stomach pain.
The Mayo Clinic reports that adrenal carcinoma is a rare cancer that affects the adrenal glands in the kidneys.
The adrenal glands produce hormones that give instructions to virtually every organ and tissue in the body.
She underwent chemotherapy and immunotherapy in an attempt to beat her cancer, but over the summer the From Not to Hot star revealed that Anna’s cancer was terminal.
Mama June previously sat down with DailyMail.com to discuss the lengths she and Justin went to to help Anna through her treatment
The TV personality also confirmed that the mother-daughter duo have put their past grievances aside to focus on Anna’s health battle
Mama June previously sat down with DailyMail.com to discuss the lengths she and Justin went to to help Anna during her treatment.
She explained: ‘In the weeks she has chemo, we take her to Atlanta. We stay there all week from Monday to Saturday to make sure she is close to the hospital if something big happens because it’s two hours away.
‘So we say it there and then we bring her back home. Then the next week is pretty rough for her, so we’re staying in Georgia to make sure she doesn’t need anything.’
“Honestly, the people who have been there for her since she was diagnosed are me and Justin, Eldridge and the girls,” the mother said. “There is no other family that comes up and sits with her during her treatments.”
The TV personality also confirmed that the mother-daughter duo have put their past grievances aside to focus on Anna’s health battle.
The pair have endured an extremely fractured relationship – following Mama June’s public struggles with alcohol and cocaine addiction in recent years.
But Mama June said the family worked through arguments and underwent counseling as she worked to repair her relationship with her daughters.