They were siblings with a bond that included a diagnosis of disease at around the same time, and Laurie Buffett McGuane cannot yet believe her big brother Jimmy was the first to go.
The “Come Monday” singer died Friday at 76. He had been diagnosed with Merkel cell carcinoma, a highly aggressive skin cancer, four years ago.
At around the same time, McGuane was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, according to People.
“Jimmy and I were diagnosed with cancer about the same time,” she said.
“It was four years ago and Jimmy was actually diagnosed first. When Jimmy found out [I had cancer] he brought the whole family and the dogs to Montana to be with me,” she said.
“Jimmy and I became closer because of our cancers. We talked before and after our scans,” she recalled. “We shared a club that nobody wants to join. I am thunderstruck that Jimmy didn’t make it.
McGuane said that she is cancer-free after surgery at Duke University and treatment in Montana. She said that as she battled her cancer, her brother helped her keep going.
“I rode my horse during my treatments and tried to continue with my life the same way Jimmy has done,” she said.
Near the end, Buffett had to cancel shows as he revealed his diagnosis to fans he had kept in the dark.
“Jimmy wanted to perform the shows that he had to cancel. He brought joy to so many. I am very emotional now. When Jimmy was in the world, I felt safe,” McGuane said, adding that even with her husband, Tom, “it will be a whole new thing for me to be without my brother Jimmy.”
McGuane said her famous brother always had faith in his dream, even when the road to achieving it had a rocky start.
Jimmy Buffett’s Sister Reveals They Faced Cancer at the Same Time: ‘Thunderstruck He Didn’t Make It’ (Exclusive) https://t.co/HteKTmgvDR
— People (@people) September 5, 2023
“Jimmy always had a dream that he pursued until the end. He did a lot of things in between, but hit Key West when he was pretty unknown, and never gave up, up until crowds began coming to listen to him perform. He was a phenomenal person,” she said.
Three days ago, she shared a childhood picture on Instagram and, using her nickname for her brother, noted “Lulu and I were just with Bubba. We talked about our childhood where only siblings can relate. I told him I’ve known him longer than anyone on the planet. He smiled with those twinkling blue eyes and squeezed my hand.”
McGuane said family members gathered with the musician as he was dying.
“We shared memories of our childhood with Jimmy during his last days,” she said, according to People.
“We would repeat stories, and Jimmy would laugh and nod his head to let us know that he remembered. I have never seen Jimmy depressed ever. Not even at the end. We all like to joke and laugh and that was very much Jimmy,” she said.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.