Eldridge Toney, Anna “Chickadee” Cardwell’s husband, is shedding light on her decision to continue filming her family’s television show during her final days of life.
Cardwell was diagnosed with terminal stage 4 adrenal carcinoma in January. On December 9, the reality TV star passed away at the age of 29. Rather than stepping away from the spotlight, however, Anna Cardwell decided to continue filming throughout her final 11 months.
According to Toney, whom she married in secret after receiving her terminal diagnosis, Cardwell’s decision came from a desire to spread awareness about her rare condition.
“The filming was something that Anna wanted to do,” he told People. “She wanted to bring awareness to her rare type of cancer because there is still so much unknown about it and it is very rare.”
Anna “Chickadee” Cardwell’s funeral took place on Wednesday. During the service, her family echoed the sentiment shared by her husband. Her final days were filmed for their reality TV show, they said, because “that’s what she wanted.”
Cardwell appeared in several series following the life of Mama June and her family. These include TLC’s Toddlers & Tiaras, Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, and WE TV’s Mama June: Family in Crisis.
Several crew members from the series attended the funeral of Anna “Chickadee” Cardwell. The family has spent so much time with them over the years that they now consider them “friends and family.”
They did not, however, film the service. In fact, cell phones and other cameras were banned from the funeral home, according to a sign placed outside the front doors, to preserve the family’s privacy.
Alana “Honey Boo Boo” Thompson Pays Tribute to Late Sister Anna “Chickadee” Cardwell
Following the news of Anna “Chickadee” Cardwell’s death, her younger sister, Alana “Honey Boo Boo” Thompson, took to Instagram to pen a touching tribute.
“This is one post I wish I didn’t have to make,” she began. “Last night we all surrounded Anna with love & let her know it was okay to go. Unfortunately around 11pm Anna took her last breathe. Anna was in so much pain last night but now as a family we all know she is at peace now.”
“I really don’t know what to say as my heart is completely broken,” Thompson continued. “Watching my 29 year old sister this last year battle this horrible disease hasn’t been easy. Anna was a fighter & still is. Lord please wrap your arms around her 2 babies & our family as the next couple of days will make this all a reality.”
“I’m so glad that you waited til i was home to take your last breath! I would’ve loved for you to get to see me graduate college but i know you will forever cheer me on in heaven! We will all make sure your legacy lives on forever. And i promise to always make sure to celebrate our birthday like you never left!”
“The sky looks a little bit different today. We will always love you Anna,” Thompson wrote of Cardwell. “You hit me hard with his one Anna but i know your in a better place now and pain free forever!”