The Brown family, led by parents Billy and Ami Brown, have faced a devastating past couple of months.
The family of nine, who are the stars of Discovery’s hit series “Alaskan Bush People,” was heartbroken when they recently discovered that Ami was suffering from late-stage lung cancer.
According to earlier reports, it was a shock for the close-knit family, who are best known for living in the wilderness of Alaska’s Copper River Valley.
In a recent episode of the show, the Brown family learned that 54-year-old Ami would have to undergo intense treatment in order to fight the deadly illness. The show’s executive producer told the “Wolf Pack”:
“So the radiation is five days a week for six weeks. After the radiation, once a week she goes to the other building and they put an IV in her and she gets chemotherapy for four hours.”
Ami was also told that if she lost any more weight from her 94-pound body, then she would have to be put on a feeding tube, according to earlier reports.Screenshot/Facebook
Now, in her first interview since the heartbreaking diagnosis, Ami is opening up about her difficult battle against cancer. She told People magazine:
“I realized early into this that it’s very easy to want to give up and just die. And on the pessimist side, it could be my last days. But I have the will to fight.”
Ami said that she first noticed something was off when she felt pain in her back, and was oftentimes bedridden by what she thought was arthritis. She said:
“We were filming the show and at times it was all I could do to just stand there — I was in so much pain. When we were shooting promo shots I told them, “There’s something wrong.”
In December I went to the dentist to get impressions made for new teeth and when they did a scan they noticed a little capsule. That’s how this all started.”
It’s been a tough battle, but she said that she is choosing to “shine” instead of giving up. And the support of fans makes the challenge that much easier. Ami told People:
“People will stop us at red lights on our way in and tell us their whole church is praying for us. I want people to see what a big giant family we feel a part of. The world needs more of that.”
“She’s the strongest person I know, so if she’s saying it hurts, it really hurts. She tries to hide it from everybody but four or five times a day she bends over like a baby and cries. She bends over and tears run down. She put out seven babies without a grunt.”
Even though this experience is difficult for her family, Ami said she hopes that documenting her struggles on the reality series will help others going through similar problems.
But for now, she continues to fight for her life.