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Mama June Shannon and her daughters Alana “Honey Boo Boo” Thompson, Lauryn “Pumpkin” Efird and Jessica “Chubbs” Shannon are leaning on each other now more than ever.

When Anna “Chickadee” Cardwell died of terminal cancer in December 2023, the family made it a point to put their personal issues aside and stick together in her final days. Although Anna is no longer with them, Mama June and her girls have stuck together through thick and thin.

“We're dysfunctional,” Lauryn tells PEOPLE exclusively during a gathering with her family members. “But we've also said before that it's always kind of just been us. So, regardless of all the difficulties and the fighting and all that stuff, we're all we have left.”

Anna Cardwell's family visits her in the hospital.

Lauryn Effard/ Instagram


Despite the ups and downs they've experienced over the years, Mama June adds that it's “always” been just her and the girls.

“Their fathers were not involved and things like that,” she explains. “So today, [my husband] Justin [Stroud] left me, Josh left Pumpkin, Dralin left her, Cheyenne left her, we would all have to move into the same house with the babies and just live our lives.”

“Justin's favorite saying is, 'I've never seen a family like this.' We can sit here and argue and an hour later we'll be on the phone talking like nothing ever happened,” she adds.

I'm Anna Cardwell.
Anna Cardwell/Instagram

In the episode of June 28th of Mama June: Family crisisAnna's condition took a dramatic turn and Mama June called her hospice nurse to check her vital signs. After taking her pulse and running other tests, the doctor confirmed that Anna was in “transition” and would soon die after her cancer battle.

After her tragic death, Anna's family members were very moved and remembered the moment she took her last breath.

In a video message, Mama June announced that Anna died “peacefully” and “won her battle because Anna is no longer suffering.”

“We were all just sitting there talking,” Alana said in one of her own videos. “And then she took her last breath. I really wish she could have seen me graduate, but that's okay because she's watching over me.”

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Mama June: Family crisis airs Fridays at 9:00 p.m. ET on WEtv.

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