Inside the Alaskan Bush People Family's New Life in Washington After Mom Ami's Cancer Battle
After beating her advanced lung cancer diagnosis in late 2018, Alaskan Bush People star Ami Brown and her family of eight are settling into their new life
Ami, 54, her husband Billy, 65, and their six kids — sons Matt, 35, Bam, 33, Bear, 31, Gabe, 28, and Noah, 26, and daughters Bird, 23, and Rain, 15 — have chosen a new homestead in the Washington state wilderness.
“We never thought we’d be able to find a property like this outside of Alaska,” Bear says of his family’s new home. “It’s so great to have some good stuff coming our way. Things are starting to look up finally.” Adds Gabe: “It’s just nice to wake up in the morning and feel happy, which for a long time I don’t think any of us did.”
The family made the move to Washington shortly after Ami was given her good medical news.
“To be out of the city and in the mountains is a blessing in itself and being given second chance is great,” says Ami, who admits that she’s feeling “better than I have in a lot of years, but I still don’t have all my strength back yet.”
Ami recalls a recent excursion the family took to a nearby meadow that left her physically exhausted.
“It kind of wore me out,” she says. “I hadn’t done that much physical stuff in quite a while. Billy said he could feel my legs shaking.”
Adds Billy: “It scared me to death. She’d been doing so good – it was almost like back to normal and then I just had to hold her walking up the hill and I could feel her knees shaking like crazy. We just have to remember to take it easy and it’s never going to be like it was, but it’s getting almost there.”
RELATED VIDEO: Alaskan Bush People Build Teepees
Ami’s particularly happy that she has a full head of hair again.
“I’m not baldish anymore!” she says. “It’s very curly.”
And Ami’s recovery hasn’t been the only adjustment for the family as they settle into their new lives in Washington.
“I can hardly stand the heat,” says Bear. “And then to have to constantly watch the ground for snakes – that’s a big adjustment from Alaska.”
The amount of large bears in the area is far fewer in Washington than Alaska, but Billy says the family got “pretty tickled” the other day when they came across two “itty bitty” bears. But that doesn’t mean wildlife isn’t still a factor in their new “bush” life.
“We’ve got mountain lions here! How cool is that?!” says Billy. “It feels like home again because we have to watch our backs.”
But new climate aside, the family is focused on counting their blessings that they’ve been able to largely put Ami’s health issues behind them.
“It’s so funny, because we were fighting to hang on to that faith so hard, and we just had a little ounce – that’s all we had,” says Billy. “But then that little bitty ounce of faith gave us a whole new life.”
Alaskan Bush People returns Sunday at 9 p.m. ET on Discovery.