Mama June's eldest daughter has died, age 29, less than a year after being diagnosed with cancer.

This post deals with sexual abuse and might be triggering for some readers.

Anna "Chickadee" Cardwell, the oldest daughter of reality TV star Mama June Shannon, has died. She was 29.

Shannon, 44, announced the news on social media on Sunday morning US time.

"With breaking heart, we are announcing that @annamarie35 is no longer with us," she wrote. She passed away in my home last night peacefully at 11.12pm."

June continued: "She gave one hell of a fight for 10 months she passed away with her family around her like she won’t and we will be updating y’all with more information as we get it today."


According to TMZ, Cardwell reportedly underwent a series of tests in January after initially complaining of stomachaches, with doctors discovering she has stage 4 adrenal carcinoma. The cancer was found in Anna's liver, kidney and lung.

Her family stepped in to help look after her two kids, 10-year-old Kaitlyn and seven-year-old Kylee, while Cardwell began her first round of chemotherapy in March.

Alana 'Honey Boo Boo' Thompson also shared a tribute to her older sister.

"Anna was in so much pain last night but now as a family, we all know she is at peace now," she said. 

"I really don’t know what to say as my heart is completely broken. Watching my 29-year-old sister this last year battle this horrible disease hasn’t been easy. Anna was a fighter and still is."

Watch: Mama June and Honey Boo Boo on The Doctors. Post continues below.

Video via CBS.

In January 2012, Mama June and her youngest daughter, Alana (more commonly known as Honey Boo Boo), appeared on the US reality TV series Toddlers & Tiaras. And thanks to Alana's loud personality, the two became series regulars. 

Seven months later, Mama June and her daughter had become so popular that they were given their own reality series, Here Comes Honey Boo Boo. The show ran for four seasons and gave everyone a good look into their chaotic family life.

While filming season five, the network cancelled the show after they found out Mama June was dating a registered sex offender – one who had sexually abused her eldest daughter. However, Mama June denied it.

"The statement of me dating a sex offender is totally untrue. I would not ever ever ever put my kids in danger, I love my kids too much. That is my past. I have not seen that person in 10 years and don’t seem to want to see that person," she said during a Facebook video.

Mama June's eldest daughter Anna was molested when she was eight at the hands of June's then-boyfriend Mark McDaniel. McDaniel served 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to aggravated child molestation in 2003 for abusing Anna.

Image: TLC. 


From 2004 to 2016, Mama June was married to Mike "Sugar Bear" Thompson. The same year that she and Mike divorced, Mama June started dating Eugene "Geno" Doak.

In early 2019, Mama June abandoned her four daughters for her troubled boyfriend Geno. 

The couple were seen living out of their car and when her children asked for her to come home and leave her boyfriend and the drugs behind, she unflinchingly chose Geno, who had an extensive criminal record including burglary, theft, and criminal damage to property charges.

In March 2019, Mama June and Geno were arrested for possession of a controlled substance and drug paraphernalia charges after police allegedly found crack cocaine and a pipe on Mama June. In September 2019, they were both charged with drug possession and pleaded not guilty.

Mama June's downward spiral was showcased on her reality TV show, which was renamed Mama June: Family Crisis


Honey Boo Boo, then 15, started living with her then 21-year-old sister Pumpkin, her husband Josh and their two kids. Mama June sold their family home for cash to support her drug habit.

Image: Macon County Sheriff's Office. "The only reason I sold the house, I was dead f**king broke," Mama June told her daughter Pumpkin on her reality TV show. "Because you know, at that point, we was doing quite a bit. I mean, it was a couple ounces a day. Our habit was $2,500 a day, if not more."


At the height of their addiction, Mama June and Geno spent $1 million on drugs.

"You're always owing somebody. You know, bank accounts overdrawn, tens of thousands of dollars, house being sold... I spent massive amounts of money," she told Access Hollywood

"I would say the last year of our addiction, probably a good $900,000 ($1.2 million AUD)."

When their addiction was at its worst, Mama June recalled getting out $80,000 ($103,000 AUD) in one transaction for her drug dealer. Then, for her "last high" she was waiting on $15,000, but because the payment was late, she entered rehab.

In early 2020, June and Geno checked themselves into the Banyan Treatment Centre in Florida for 23 days. In August 2020, Mama June announced they were both six months clean.

"Hey guys, real quick I just wanted to jump on here. I know my birthday isn't until Monday, but I want to share this six-month blinged out chip that my manager sent me for my birthday," she said as she showcased the six-month sobriety coin in an Instagram video. "It's probably the most thing I'm proud of because now me and Geno are over six months clean. This is amazing, y'all," she said. "I'm so proud of this."


In April 2020, The Blast reported that a judge had ordered Mama June's criminal trial to be postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

"I may go to jail and never see my kids again. I'm scared s**tless," she said in a promo for the latest season of her reality series, this time titled Mama June: Road to Redemption.

In June 2021, Mama June dodged prison time, and agreed to do 100 hours of community service and having court supervision. As for Geno, he was sentenced to 16 months in a Community Corrections program, not prison.


In the series which premiered on March 19, 2021, Mama June and her daughter Alana "Honey Boo Boo" sat down with family therapist Dr Ish, to discuss how June's drug addiction affected her family.

"I want to say that I'm sorry, but I need to show that I'm sorry," June told her daughter.

Listen to Mamamia's entertainment podcast, The Spill. Post continues after audio.

During their sit-down, Alana explained to her mum that when her addiction was at its worst, she felt abandoned.

"It's just hard because you wasn't there for my first day of high school and I think that's a pretty big thing," Alana said. "It was hard for me not having my mum there and I had to come home and tell Pumpkin what I was doing. I'm very grateful that Pumpkin was there for me, but why wasn't you there? Why wasn't you there when I needed you most?" she asked.

Mama June admitted she had screwed up and has since said she is now sober.

"I know I was selfish when I went to rehab and to be honest with you, I'm still a little bit selfish in my recovery," she responded. "But I'm willing to do whatever it takes to get you all back in my life, and that's the reason why I'm here today."

Alana then explained that there were many nights when her mum never texted her back, leaving her worried that she'd overdosed.


"You don't know how many nights I cried myself to sleep just hoping and praying that you didn't overdose," she said. "'God, please don't let my mum die. Please just hold onto her. Just please!' I just wanted you there and even if I texted your phone, I wouldn't even get a text back so hell, I never knew if you were alive or dead anyways."

Alana "Honey Boo Boo" on Mama June: Road to Redemption. Image: We TV. In June 2022, June lost custody of Alana, according to court documents obtained by Page Six.


A judge granted Pumpkin sole custody with visitation rights being decided by Pumpkin.

After less than a year of dating, June married her boyfriend Justin Stroud in June 2022 at a court in Georgia in a ceremony officiated by a judge.

Stroud has also had challenges with the law and drug charges. In February, he was arrested in Florida on an outstanding warrant for drug charges at a gas station. He was released from jail in mid-March where Mama June was photographed waiting for him.

"When you know you just know. We're off the market," she said. 

"That's right, no jokes, I really was scared of the M-word, but hey, Justin made me not be scared of it anymore because he wifey-ed me up." 


If this post brings up any issues for you, or if you just feel like you need to speak to someone, please call 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732) – the national sexual assault, domestic and family violence counselling service. It doesn’t matter where you live, they will take your call and, if need be, refer you to a service closer to home.

You can also call safe steps 24/7 Family Violence Response Line on 1800 015 188 or visit www.safesteps.org.au for further information.

The Men’s Referral Service is also available on 1300 766 491 or via online chat at www.ntv.org.au.

This article was originally published in March 2021, and was updated on March 31, 2023.

Feature Image: Getty, Instagram/@mamajune

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