Robbie Robertson: I Had No Idea Levon Helm Was This Ill

Robbie Robertson

Having learned that Helm is 'in the final stages of his battle with cancer', Robertson writes on his Facebook that he is 'so grateful' he got the chance to see his Band mate for one last time.
After it was announced that Levon Helm is losing his battle with cancer, words of support and love have come rushing in. One of them came from the drummer's former mate in The Band, Robbie Robertson, as he took to his Facebook account on Wednesday, April 18 to express his sadness.

"Last week I was shocked and so saddened to hear that my old band mate, Levon, was in the final stages of his battle with cancer," the 68-year-old guitarist wrote. "It hit me really hard because I thought he had beaten throat cancer and had no idea that he was this ill. I spoke with his family and made arrangements to go and see him."

"On Sunday [April 15] I went to New York and visited him in the hospital," he continued on recalling his recent visit. "I sat with Levon for a good while, and thought of the incredible and beautiful times we had together. It was heartwarming to be greeted by his lovely daughter Amy, whom I have known since she was born."

"Amy's mother, Libby Titus, and her husband, Donald Fagen, were so kind to help walk me through this terrible time of sadness. My thoughts and prayers are with his wife Sandy," he stated before concluding, "Levon is one of the most extraordinary talented people Iā��ve ever known and very much like an older brother to me. I am so grateful I got to see him one last time and will miss him and love him forever."

Another surviving Band member sharing his thought on Helm's condition was Garth Hudson. On Tuesday, the 74-year-old multi-instrumentalist shared on his website a link to Alexis P. Suter's performance of "Knockin' on Heaven's Door". He added, "I am too sad for words right now. Please continue praying for Levon and family."

News that Helm is in "the final stages" of his cancer battle is shared through a note posted on his website by his wife and daughter. "Please send your prayers and love to him as he makes his way through this part of his journey," they added. "Thank you fans and music lovers who have made his life so filled with joy and celebration... he has loved nothing more than to play, to fill the room up with music, lay down the back beat, and make the people dance! He did it every time he took the stage."

71-year-old Helm was diagnosed with throat cancer in 1998. He underwent intensive radiation treatment that damaged his vocal cord. Though so, he continued on making music and produced back-to-back Grammy-winning albums, 2007's "Dirt Farmer" and 2009's "Electric Dirt".

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