Reality TV alum Anna “Chickadee” Cardwell revealed that she has started losing her hair amid her cancer battle.
Cardwell, 28, shared before-and-after photos of her hair with TMZ on Friday, March 31, revealing clumps had been falling out.
TMZ was first to report the news of Cardwell’s diagnosis one day earlier. The outlet reported on Thursday, March 30, that the former TLC personality has stage 4 adrenal carcinoma and has started chemotherapy treatment. While Cardwell has not publicly commented on her health battle, sister Alana “Honey Boo Boo” Thompson opened up about watching her big sister go through this harrowing ordeal.
“This is what I mean when I say you never truly know what somebody is going through at home. No matter how famous they are,” the former Dancing With the Stars Junior contestant, 17, wrote via her Instagram Story on Thursday, sharing a screenshot of the initial TMZ report. “I’m very famous but normal s—t happens to me and my family & y’all need to realize that ASAP.”
The sisters’ family initially rose to fame in 2009, when Alana and mother “Mama” June Shannon appeared on TLC’s Toddlers & Tiaras. Shannon and Alana’s popularity landed the brood their own Here Comes Honey Boo Boo spinoff in 2012. Here Comes Honey Boo Boo followed the TLC matriarch’s life with her four daughters.
Shannon, 43, shares Cardwell and Jessica Shannon, 26, with ex David Dunn, and daughter Lauryn “Pumpkin” Shannon, 23, with ex Michael Anthony Ford. The Mama June: From Not to Hot star last welcomed Alana in 2005 with former partner Mike “Sugar Bear” Thompson.
“I got bashed because when she was 5 and she was doing pageants, we were doing all of the hair and makeup,” Mama June, 43, recalled to Us Weekly exclusively in May 2021 of dealing with mom-shaming critics throughout her time in the spotlight. “Now she’s 15, and it’s still a crime [even though], like, Alana isn’t that 5-year-old girl anymore. She’s 15 and in the 10th grade. … I want [my kids] to express themselves.”
Cardwell is also a mother, sharing daughters Kaitlyn and Kylee — who were born in 2012 and 2015, respectively — with ex-husband Michael Cardwell. Anna and Michael, 30, ultimately separated in 2017 after dealing with Kaitlyn’s own medical challenge. Their firstborn, then 4, went under the knife one year earlier to remove the extra thumb that she had since birth.
“The doctor told me that she did very, very well,” Anna exclusively told Us Weekly in November 2016 of the procedure. “[At first] she was like, ‘No, Mommy, I’m going to miss my little finger. I said, ‘When you get older, people might pick on you. You don’t know that.’ She was like, ‘Well then, Ma, you can get on to them and go back and pick at them.’”
She added at the time: “All my mama was worried about was [if Kaitlyn] have mobility in her thumb after the surgery. That’s why she didn’t want [Kaitlyn] to get it done, and same for my sisters. … They got upset whenever I told them. I said, ‘I really hope Kylee don’t have it because I don’t want to go through it again.’ My sister Jessica got kind of really upset about that. And then [Kylee] ended up not having it.”
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Kaitlyn has since made a full recovery.