“Alaskan Bush People’s” Billy Brown, 65, was willing to do anything to help his wife overcome her battle with advanced lung cancer, including moving the family to California from Alaska, but it wasn’t easy to watch his wife suffer.

“Her heart just couldn’t take it anymore. She was just a few pounds [away] from dying,” he said.

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The patriarch of the “ABP” family spoke to PEOPLE after he and his wife, Ami, 54, discovered that her cancer was finally in remission. He revealed that the doctors had no idea where the cancer began, even as it spread throughout her lungs to her back and chest. With her long battle with the cancer ravaging her body, Ami had dropped to under 80 lbs because she could barely eat. Still, Billy said keeping a positive outlook was important in supporting his wife.

“We’ve been through a lot, and this has to be the hardest thing to face for all of us,” said the father of seven. “But when faith is all you have, you’ve got to hold on to it.”

The family received the amazing news on Dec. 21 after her final scans that, even while she’d been told she had a reported 3 percent chance of surviving, Ami’s cancer had vanished.

“We went in and talked to the doctor, and we were solemn when she walked in, to be honest with you. Nobody expected the news to be that good. But she didn’t make us wait or anything. She said, ‘There’s nothing in there. We can’t find any sign of it or anything.’”

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Brown continued, “She was so honest and straightforward, and she had said it was going to be a total miracle from the Great Lord for her be alive in three or four months, and then she told us this. She said, “It’s completely gone.”

“It was hard for it to sink in for all of us. They had to pick us up off the floor,” Billy went on. “It was like when we were told we were having a girl after five boys. It was like, are you sure? It was fantastic.”

Christabel is a twenty-something graduate from Virginia Commonwealth University. She's a big fan of writing, television, movies, general pop culture and complaining about how they've annoyed her. Long live the Oxford comma.
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