Many people have never heard of Merkel cell carcinoma, the rare form of skin cancer that took the life of Jimmy Buffet, but Al Copeland, Jr. is very familiar with it
NEW ORLEANS — It is now well known that Jimmy Buffet got his start as a street musician in the French Quarter, but what is not as well known, is that the breakthrough treatment for the rare cancer he died of, was first tested not far from there at the LSU Health, Scott Cancer Center.
“He had a bump that was forming on the side of his face, and he didn’t know what it was. And he started to receive treatment, and they thought it was some type of bacterial infection,” remembers Al Copeland, Jr. about his father.
It was Merkel cell carcinoma that took the life of his dad, Al Copeland, Sr., founder of the Popeye’s Fried Chicken empire, when he was only 63 years old.