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Levon Helm visited in hospital by The Band's Robbie Robertson

Robbie Robertson arrives at the Giorgio Armani / Vanity Fair private dinner on Oct. 11, 2011, in Los Angeles. Getty

(CBS News) Robbie Robertson, one of the founding members of The Band, paid a visit to an ailing Levon Helm in the hospital over the weekend.

Earlier this week, Helm's family announced that Helm, who has had throat cancer since the late 1990s, was in the final stages of his battle.

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In a new Facebook post, Robertson, 68, revealed that he didn't realize how sick his friend and former bandmate had been. He decided to visit him as soon as he found out.

"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," Robertson 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 I went to New York and visited him in the hospital. 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."

"Levon is one of the most extraordinary talented people I'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."

Despite his battle with cancer, Helm, 71, has been very active on the touring scene. He even had some dates lined up this month.

His family has asked fans to send their prayers and love as  Helm "makes his way through this part of his journey."

Earlier this week, former Band member, Garth Hudson, expressed his thoughts in an online post.

Two original Band members have already passed on. Multi-instrumentalist Richard Manuel took his own life in 1986, and bassist Rick Danko died in 1999.

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