Anna Cardwell, also known as ‘Chickadee,’ the eldest offspring of famed TV personality Mama June Shannon, succumbed to a fierce battle with Stage 4 adrenal carcinoma this past Saturday. At the young age of 29, she left us. Heartbroken Shannon, who herself is 44, posted a tribute to her late daughter on Instagram on Sunday. ‘Late last night, in the peaceful embrace of our home, @annamarie35 departed from this world at 11:12 PM,’ she sorrowfully confessed.
Resilience marked Anna’s fight against cancer, for a full 10 months she courageously endured. According to Shannon’s Instagram post, Anna’s transition was eased by the warm presence of relatives around her. Shannon appealed to the followers for their continual support through prayers in these trying times. Shannon’s representative was approached for a statement by The Post.
Anna Cardwell, also had a significant social media presence. The overwhelming expressions of sorrow on her Instagram handle, @annamarie35, attest to her popularity. As her family grapples with the loss, Shannon appealed to her followers to be patient for updates and remain supportive. She especially emphasized the power of thoughts and prayers in comforting the grieving family.
Anna, born on August 28, 1994, was diagnosed with adrenal carcinoma earlier this year. The mother of two went through multiple medical tests due to persistent stomachaches, leading to the unfortunate discovery of tumors in her liver, kidney, and lungs. The diagnosis was later confirmed publicly by Anna’s youngest sibling, Alana ‘Honey Boo Boo’ Thompson, who is just 18.
Alana’s Instagram Story in March revealed her sister’s battle, and she used it to lament on how fame does not shield anyone from personal tragedies, ‘No matter how famous they are,’ as she put it. The reality of her sister’s illness, she claimed, is what ‘normal s–t’ looks like, a veiled appeal for empathy from the fans.
Shannon’s bond with her four daughters has been a recurring theme of popular TV shows such as ‘Here Comes Honey Boo Boo’ and WE tv’s ‘Mama June: From Not to Hot.’ The untimely demise of Anna was grievously acknowledged by both WE tv and Thinkfactory Media, who paid tribute to her as a ‘loving mother, daughter, sister, and friend.’ They extended their heartfelt condolences to Shannon and her family.
Shannon and Alana gained considerable fame thanks to their stint on TLC’s ‘Toddlers & Tiaras.’ In fact, both of them were breakout stars, impressing the audience with their unique personalities. More recently, news emerged that Shannon had been accompanying Anna to her medical appointments, which was perceived as an attempt to mend their fraught relationship.
They say adversity often brings people together; this proved true for mother and daughter, who set past acrimonies aside when faced with Anna’s dire diagnosis. A family insider revealed to TMZ in April that Anna’s health crisis had accelerated the reconciliation process. The source said that, for Shannon, ‘the past is simply in the past,” and she used the opportunity to step up, including by looking after Anna’s children.
Despite a period of estrangement in 2003, which had led Anna to leave Shannon’s household and move in with her grandmother, the mother-daughter duo had tried to forge a fresh bond after Shannon and Mark McDaniel, her ex-boyfriend and convicted sex offender, broke up. In 2014, Anna had opened up about the molestation she suffered at McDaniel’s hands when she was only 8 years-old.
Both mother and daughter earnestly tried to leave the shadows of the past behind and reshape their relationship. Anna was quoted in a 2014 People magazine interview saying that they aimed to ‘put this behind us and get our relationship back on track.’ Their bond had strengthened considerably leading up to Anna accompanying Shannon down the aisle in her wedding to Justin Stroud in 2022.
Stroud and Shannon moved to Georgia, a strategic relocation closer to Anna as she valiantly fought the unique cancer affecting the outer layer of the adrenal glands. While in the midst of her battle in May, Anna hearteningly mentioned that the treatment seemed to be yielding positive results. She cheerfully shared this news from her third round of chemo treatment, with an attached selfie of a day with her boyfriend, Eldridge Toney.
Unfortunately, by July, the resilience of Anna’s cancer outpowered the medicines. Shannon confirmed that after the fourth cycle of chemotherapy, Anna’s condition had worsened and was designated terminal. The devastating story of her fight was shared on ‘Entertainment Tonight,’ where Shannon shared that the rapid growth of the cancer on the left side of her body was frighteningly unpredictable.
In addition to her sister Alana, Anna leaves behind two other sisters, Jessica ‘Chubbs’ Shannon, aged 27, and Lauryn ‘Pumpkin’ Efird, aged 23. She was the proud mother of Kaitlyn Elizabeth, born in 2012, and Kylee Madison, born in 2015. Her marriage with Michael Cardwell ended in 2017 after three years, but her memory will continue to live in the hearts of her family, friends, and fans.