The Alaskan Bush People family, known for surviving through harsh environments, have overcome their greatest challenge–their mom Ami Brown has beaten cancer. The 54-year-old matriarch was diagnosed with stage 3b lung cancer only a year ago and was given only three percent chance of survival.
Billy Brown, the Alaskan Bush People patriarch, is still in shock over the good news. Speaking with People, Billy opened up about the family’s struggles as Ami went through her health ordeal and how they got through it together.
“It was hard for it to sink in for all of us. They had to pick us up off the floor. It was like when we were told we were having a girl after five boys,” Billy said of how they reacted when the doctors declared Ami as cancer-free just a few days before Christmas.
“It was like, are you sure? It was fantastic.”
When Ami was diagnosed with advanced lung cancer early last year, the Brown family decided to leave the Alaskan wilderness to seek treatment. Ami had to go through rounds of radiation and chemotherapy at the UCLA hospital in California. Billy always accompanied his wife in these procedures and stated that seeing Ami weak and frail has been especially tough on him.
“She got to the point where she couldn’t even swallow that. She was down to 77 pounds,” Billy narrated.
“Her heart just couldn’t take it anymore. She was just a few pounds [away] from dying.”
Now, Billy happily shared that Ami is steadily gaining weight and is at a healthy 104 pounds. The mother-of-seven also can also move around on her own without the use of a wheelchair. According to Billy, oncologists told them that the cancer cells in Ami’s lungs, chest, and back were “completely gone.”
However, Billy also expressed his worry about Ami’s cancer coming back. He explained that the doctors never really found out where the cancer originated.
In a separate interview with Ami Brown, the cancer survivor conceded that the disease is “a part of her life” now.
“I have to go in every three months now for the rest of my life and be scanned to see if it’s back or not,” Ami said.
“It’s going to be a part of my life forever. But I want to encourage people to enjoy every moment and walk every moment with God because he knows what it’s about. Never give up faith.”
The Alaskan Bush People family was last seen on television during their Christmas special on Discovery last Dec. 15. The episode, which was filmed before Ami was declared cancer-free, showed Ami still thin and weak but happy to be with her family.
The reality series is rumored to be airing a new season which will focus on their new settlement in Colorado. Fans previously feared that filming will be scrapped due to Ami’s weakening condition but now that she completely healed and on the mend, a new season is likely to happen.