Jimmy Buffett’s younger sister was diagnosed with cancer around the same time as the late “Margaritaville” singer.
“It was four years ago and Jimmy was actually diagnosed first,” Laurie Buffett McGuane, who has since beat her pancreatic cancer, recalled to People in an interview published Monday.
“When Jimmy found out [I had cancer] he brought the whole family and the dogs to Montana to be with me.”
Laurie, 74, shared that she and her brother turned to each other for support after they were diagnosed with different forms of cancer at the height of the coronavirus pandemic.
“Jimmy and I became closer because of our cancers. We talked before and after our scans,” she told the outlet. “We shared a club that nobody wants to join. I am thunderstruck that Jimmy didn’t make it.”
Laurie reiterated that she is now cancer-free after undergoing surgery at Duke University and seeking treatment in Montana. During her fight against her own cancer, Laurie said Jimmy was her rock, noting that he inspired her to stay positive and keep living life to the fullest.
“I rode my horse during my treatments and tried to continue with my life the same way Jimmy has done,” Laurie said.
She also shared that Jimmy was heartbroken after his illness forced him to cancel his planned concerts in the recent months leading up to his death.
“Jimmy wanted to perform the shows that he had to cancel,” Laurie shared. “He brought joy to so many.”
Laurie, who is married to author Thomas McGuane, mourned her brother’s memory and shared that she is “very emotional now.”
“When Jimmy was in the world, I felt safe,” she said. “Even though I have Tom, it will be a whole new thing for me to be without my brother Jimmy.”
Elsewhere in the interview, Laurie reflected on the singer’s ongoing perseverance throughout his career.
“Jimmy always had a dream that he pursued until the end,” she said. “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.”
In addition to Laurie, Jimmy’s other sister, Lucy Buffett, was also by his side when he passed away.
“Jimmy passed away peacefully on the night of September 1 surrounded by his family, friends, music and dogs,” a statement shared via his social media accounts on Saturday read.
”He lived his life like a song till the very last breath and will be missed beyond measure by so many.”
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A source told TMZ that Jimmy had entered hospice just days before he died after his rare form of skin cancer sadly progressed.
“He lived his life in the sun, literally and figuratively,” the source told the website.
Jimmy’s good friend Paul McCartney reportedly visited the “A Salty Piece of Land” author at his home last week to sing to him.
The Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter, known for living an “island escapism” lifestyle, is survived by his wife, Jane Slagsvol, as well as his three children: Savannah, Sarah and Cameron.
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