It’s been nothing short of a rollercoaster ride for June Edith “Mama June” Shannon, and her entire family, ever since she and her then-five-year-old daughter, Alana “Honey Boo Boo” Thompson, made their television debut on TLC’s ‘Toddlers & Tiaras’ in 2011. After all, their proud personalities and their subsequent rise to fame earned them their own reality series, ‘Here Comes Honey Boo Boo,’ leading to spin-offs like ‘Mama June: Family Crisis’ and ‘Mama June: Road to Redemption.’
The latter, rebranded from ‘Mama June: From Not to Hot,’ is the result of Mama June’s stint in rehab after getting involved with Geno Doak, who has a criminal record, developing a million-dollar drug habit, and getting arrested. Although things have never been easy for the family’s matriarch, fans are now genuinely worried about her overall well-being after seeing her use a walker for support in a recent episode of season 5. So, let’s find out exactly what’s going on with her health, shall we?
Why is Mama June Walking With a Walker?
In a recent episode of WEtv’s ‘Mama June: Road to Redemption,’ Mama June, 41, was seen talking to her sister, Jo “Doe Doe” Shannon, 56, about why she has to use a walker now. Doe Doe was straightforward when she asked her younger sibling if it was because of the drugs, but Mama June somberly replied that that was not the reason. “A month ago, when I went to get my chin done, [my doctor] said, ‘It looks like you got [lymphedema],'” she revealed. Lymphedema is a genetic condition that causes limbs to swell up and be of different sizes.
Mama June herself explained her situation in a confessional, stating that lymphedema is “where fat kinda makes some nodules up underneath your skin and your lymphatic system doesn’t work right.” She further told her sister that while her left arm is 27 inches long, her right one is 21, adding that she has trouble walking without proper support because her left leg is 13 inches bigger than the right one. Mama June’s ailment is at Stage 3, so advanced that she admitted she only has six more months to live if she doesn’t get it taken care of.
Following the episode’s premiere, Mama June took to Twitter to give us a true insight into her disease, announcing that she was diagnosed with both lymphedema and lipidemia in September 2020 “A lot of women that [are] obese have this…so if [you are] having issues, women get checked,” Mama June tweeted. “And I will say a lot of women are misdiagnosed with having cellulitis and [sic] being obese. That’s what I was told for years, and meeting Dr. Schwartz in Beverly Hills educated me a lot, so [you] have to find to right [doctor].”
Contrary to Mama June’s statement on the show, though, lymphedema in itself is not fatal. However, it is incurable and can be highly disabling if left untreated, mainly because it makes fat cells migrate to lymph nodes and subsequently leaves patients susceptible to life-threatening infections. “I just wanna say thank you to each and everyone of the fans out there,” Mama June recently tweeted, appreciating the constant love and support she and her family have received over the last decade, despite all the ups and downs they’ve faced.
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