Jimmy Buffett’s younger sister Laurie has revealed that she was diagnosed with cancer “about the same time” as her late brother, who died last week aged 76.
Laurie, 74, discovered she had pancreatic cancer during the pandemic, and is now cancer-free following months of treatment.
But the iconic “Margaritaville” hitmaker, who was diagnosed with a rare form of skin cancer called Merkel cell carcinoma, sadly lost his battle surrounded by his loved ones on Friday.
Speaking about her beloved brother’s death, Laurie admits she’s “thunderstruck that Jimmy didn’t make it.”
“Jimmy and I were diagnosed with cancer about the same time,” she told People.
“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.”
Though she sought treatment in Montana, Laurie says she and her late brother, whom she lovingly referred to as Bubba, relied on each other for support throughout their respective cancer battles.
“Jimmy and I became closer because of our cancers. We talked before and after our scans,” she shared. “We shared a club that nobody wants to join. I am thunderstruck that Jimmy didn’t make it.”
Laurie admitted that Jimmy was her inspiration throughout treatment.
“I rode my horse during my treatments and tried to continue with my life the same way Jimmy has done” she told the outlet.
For his part, Jimmy was surrounded by his loved ones in his final moments, and Laurie says the siblings recalled childhood memories to each other.
After the singer’s death, Laurie rushed to social media to pay tribute to her beloved sibling, writing, “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.”
The “It’s 5 O’Clock Somewhere” singer’s death was announced on social media just months after he was forced to pull the plug on several of his shows following a series of hospitalizations.
And while it was the right course of action at the time, Laurie admits it devastated him.
“Jimmy wanted to perform the shows that he had to cancel,” she said. “He brought joy to so many. I am very emotional now. When Jimmy was in the world, I felt safe. Even though I have Tom, it will be a whole new thing for me to be without my brother Jimmy.”