Tracing Ami Brown’s Path to Fame, Her Family and Health Challenges

If you’re familiar with the American reality TV series, Alaskan Bush People, then putting a picture to the name, Ami Brown, is a no-brainer. Since it first aired on May 6, 2014, The Alaskan Bush People have followed the Brown family. The show explores the family’s quest for survival in the desert lands of the US, completely detached from modern society. Ami has been part of the show every step of the way until news broke about her—Stage III non-small cell lung—cancer condition back in 2017. Fans have been showing keen concern about her health status.

A Teenage Marriage Led Ami Brown to Alaska

Ami Brown was born—as Amora Larene Branson—in Texas, the USA, on August 28, 1963, to the family of Eugene and Earlene Branson. She and her elder brother Les Branson grew up in Texas. Although there are not-so-many details about her childhood and parental background, we know that Ami had a tumultuous formative period.

She reportedly went through intense abuse from her family, which led to her fleeing home at just fifteen when she married Billy. We are not sure how they met, but we know Ami and Billy Brown got married on June 16, 1979. Before fame, they were a lowkey, obscure couple trying to survive. Shortly after their wedding, Billy worked as a plumber but called it quits when he saw no prospects in the vocation.

In search of greener pasture and a better life, the new family of four “toured” the hinterlands of the United States. Eventually, they sold off their vehicle and used the proceeds to start a new life in Alaska. After arriving at Wrangell, Alaska, via ship, the family settled in. But the move was not without its difficulties. They eventually settled in Mosman Island and grew their family.

The Brown Family Has Five Sons and Two Daughters

Ami Brown’s decision to run away from Texas not only gave her freedom from her allegedly abusive family but also helped her start a family of her own. Following her wedding to Billy, they gave birth to their first child, Matt Brown, on September 7, 1982. Two years after, the family grew to four, with the arrival of Joshua Bam Bam Brown, on September 18, 1984. Between 1984 and 2002, the couple gave birth to five more children, Bear Brown in June 1987, Gabe in December 1989, and their last son, Noah Brown, in July 1992.

Ami and Billy’s only daughters, Birdy Brown and Rainy Brown, were both born in November, in 1994 and 2002, respectively. While their days of having biological children are over, the family has expanded via marriages. Noah, the fifth son, is married to Rhain Alisha Brown, and they have a son, Eli Brown, born on February 26, 2019.

Ami Brown also has another grandson, River Anthony Brown, via Bear Grown and Raiven Adams’ relationship. He was born in March 2020. Raquell Brown has also joined the family, through her marriage to Gabe Brown.

Sadly, it is not all marriages and grandchildren in the Brown Family. Ami and Billy’s first son, Matt, is suffering from drug addiction. His addiction led him out of the family and the show in the eighth season, having ended the seventh checking into rehab. Matt did not, however, follow through with the treatment and left for Palm Springs in California.

Her Rise to Fame Came via the Discovery Channel

Ami Brown came into the spotlight when the Discovery Channel crew discovered her family, who had spent over two decades living in the wilderness. The channel thought it would be profitable to tell the story of Ami Brown and her family.

Thus, the show, Alaskan Bush People, began. It aired its first episode on May 6, 2014. So far, it has aired eleven seasons with well over 85 episodes. As of 2020, the show had been renewed for a 12th season, expected to premiere on August 23.

The reality TV show follows the Brown family’s life in Alaska, where they supposedly live off the grid. The show, filmed at Chichagof Island in Alaska and Palmer Lake in Washington, covers the family’s reality of living in the wilderness and the drama that comes with it. The show moved to Palmer Lake, Washington, following Ami’s cancer scare and the family’s intention to keep her closer to a quality health facility.

Ami Brown Makes Up to $60,000 Per Year on Alaskan Bush People

Thanks to the show’s popularity, Ami Brown and her family have become national celebrities, whose lives have become a fixture of gossip tabloids and news media. In turn, they have received substantial financial compensation, particularly Ami, who is the beloved matriarch of the Brown family.

She has an estimated net worth of $500,000, earned from a salary of $40,000 to $60,000 per year for the show. Other cast members of Alaskan Bush People also reportedly make a similar amount. As a result, the Brown family has a financial cushion today that their parents never had when they moved to the wilderness.

Ami Brown Got Diagnosed with Lung Cancer in 2016

It all began when Ami began complaining of severe pains during the filming of the sixth season of the show. After a thorough diagnosis, it revealed that what Brown believed was tuberculosis was actually cancer, stage III lung cancer.

According to the doctor, she had only a three percent chance of survival. The realization sparked sympathy and concern across millions of viewers. The family relocated to Southern California, where treatment began in earnest. So far, multiple chemotherapy sessions at the UCLA medical center has kept Ami Brown alive.

She is Doing Well Now

A March 2019 update showed that Ami Brown is responding well to treatment. Her UCLA Oncologist, Dr. Deborah Wong, says Brown is now in remission. Although she has lost about 40 pounds through this trying period, she, however, has been pushing back against cancer.

Considering how rapidly it can spread through the patient’s body, Ami has been lucky to be alive. Her cancer hasn’t spread that much and has been contained through chemotherapy, giving her a second shot at life. As of 2020, the treatment remains effective and kept Ami healthy enough that some have suggested the cancer diagnosis may have been a hoax.

The news is not the only good news for Ami post-treatment. Her son, Matt, has also signaled his intention to return to the family. While Ami is eager to welcome her first child back into the fold, not everyone in the Brown clan is on board with the idea.