Today's Craig Melvin Mourns Death of His Brother Lawrence: 'Colon Cancer Robbed Him'

Craig Melvin first shared the news of his brother's cancer diagnosis on the Today show in February 2017

Craig Melvin
Photo: Nathan Congleton/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

Craig Melvin's brother, Lawrence Meadows, has died after a years-long battle with stage 4 colon cancer. He was 43.

The Today co-anchor, 41, shared the heartbreaking news on Instagram Saturday.

"We lost our older brother this week," Melvin wrote. "Lawrence Meadows was a husband (to Angela, his childhood sweetheart), father (to Addie, 11 and Lawson, 7) Baptist minister, entrepreneur, and one of the best human beings you would’ve ever known."

"Colon cancer robbed him and us of so much," he continued. "He was diagnosed at 39. He died Wednesday at 43. He spent a fair amount of time over the past few years raising awareness about the disease. We’ll be keeping up that fight. We love you, bro."

Melvin received support in the comments section of his post, including from his Today show co-anchors Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager.

"Love you Craig... lets all keep up the fight ❤️," Kotb, 56, commented, while Bush Hager, 39, wrote, "Sending you so much love Craig. I know how much you adored him. 💙."

RELATED: Today's Craig Melvin Opens Up About His Brother's Colon Cancer Battle: 'It Was a Punch in the Gut'

Melvin first shared news of his brother's cancer diagnosis on the Today show in February 2017, explaining that doctors removed a baseball-sized tumor from Meadows' abdomen in October 2016 and discovered that the cancer had already spread.

"You never want to hear of anyone getting a cancer diagnosis... it nearly knocked me off my feet," Melvin said at the time.

In 2018, Melvin called his brother a "fighter" while giving an update on his health. He also said that Meadows had undergone 28 chemotherapy treatments in Houston at that point.

Melvin opened up to PEOPLE in April about Meadows' cancer battle, calling it "a punch in the gut" when they learned about his diagnosis in 2017.

"Here's a guy who didn't drink, didn't smoke, lived a clean life, played football in college," Melvin said about his brother. "He was 39 at the time.”

“We didn't know about a family history of it,” he added. “And then all of a sudden you start asking questions and you realize, oh, wait a minute. Our grandma had colon cancer. We didn't know she had colon cancer. No one ever talked about it.”

According to the American Cancer Society, colorectal cancer incidence rates in African-Americans are about 20 percent higher than those in non-Hispanic whites and 50 percent higher than those in Asians.

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