In 2017, fans of Alaskan Bush People were hit hard when they found out that Ami Brown, the matriarch of the family was suffering from advanced lung cancer. The family, who lived in seclusion, made the hard to choice to move to California where Ami could get the treatment she needed at UCLA Medical Center.
It was a tough transition for the family, but in the long run it worked out. After a few months, Ami's cancer was gone, which the family called a miracle.
"Her lungs are clear," Billy Brown said during the Alaskan Bush People Christmas special. "She’s still weak and she has a cough and all that, but if you look inside her eyes that’s the best part because Ami’s back. She’s inside there, and she wasn’t for a while.”
Soon after her battle with cancer, Ami spoke about how painful it all was.
"It was so bad and the radiation treatment hurt so badly," Ami revealed. "To take a sip of water just hurt so bad and I couldn’t eat anything. Just this past week I was thinking back about how very bad I really was. Entering that road was so dark and I was fearful. I want other people to know that it’s petrifying but you need to keep a little light. I hope they can see that I made it through and that gives them hope. It’s very scary but I never gave up hope. You have to stay positive and keep God with you because he really does perform miracles."
Now, almost two years after Ami's diagnosis, the survivor is opening up about not only the cancer battle, but how the transition from moving the family to California helped them.
“It was very scary,” Ami said of the move. “But I never gave up hope.”
Even though Amy's cancer is gone, she still needs checkups every three months. The family didn't want to stay in Los Angeles, but also couldn't move back to Alaska as it was too far, so they bought a 435-acre property in the North Cascade Mountains of Washington State. So far, the family loves it. They're closer to civilization so they have access to fresh produce, plus they have cell service.
Perhaps the best thing about the land, which they've named North Star Ranch, is that Ami has a tractor she gets to ride around, all thanks to her husband Billy who bought it for her birthday.
“We fell in love with the whole area. How many people can get their wife a little tractor and she’s tickled to death with it?” Billy joked.
“It’s pretty cool," Ami said of the land. "And I might have me an orchard for the grandbabies.”
The best part about North Star Ranch is that as the seasons change, there's more to discover.
“Every week there’d be more revealed,” Billy said of the snow melting. “We’d be like, ‘Oh my gosh, that’s ours.’ We started realizing just what God really gave us. There’s still pieces [of North Star] that, on purpose, we haven’t gone and seen yet so we can explore it later when Ami feels better.”
Ami walks the land they have, although she does acknowledge that it's harder than it used to be for her.
“In over a year I hadn’t walked hardly at all, so walking around here can be really taxing on my legs,” she admitted.
Ami and Billy admit that their plates are full, and that sometimes things can get stressful. They're currently helping their kids build homes near them, while also building their own new house.
“The Lord tells us if a man’s quiver is full, he is highly blessed,” Ami said. “And we’re very blessed.”