Published Jan 17, 2022
Bear Brown, star of the hit television series Alaskan Bush People, is now a married man!
Over the weekend, Bear married Raiven Adams surrounded by their friends and family, according to People.
“It feels really good to be a married man,” Bear tells People. “I’ve loved Raiven (for) a long time and it’s an honor and a privilege to finally call her my wife. She is the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen and still takes my breath away!”
However, even on one of the happiest days of his life, Bear is still missing his father, the late Billy Brown, who died last year at age 68 after suffering a seizure, highlighting the difficulty of celebrating milestones after losing loved ones.
“I only wish Da had been there, but I know he was watching from the best seat!” the Alaskan Bush People star adds.
“I look forward to building a life, a family and a home with Raiven. She’s the love of my life and my heart belongs to her and her alone.”
Raiven adds that she “was so very happy to have our friends and family that were able to make it. Bear looked very handsome and I’m very grateful for the family we’ve made.”
The news of Billy’s death came as a shock to the Brown family, and the world. But the Brown family is all too familiar with shocking news, as their mother, Ami Brown, was diagnosed with advanced lung cancer after months of unexplained pain in 2017.
It was about five years ago when Ami, now 57, was diagnosed with stage 3 lung cancer.
“I had some pain in my back,” she told People at the time. “Walking from the house to the garden, I would get winded. There were days I was just bedridden, but I just thought it was my arthritis. 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 (2016), 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.”
Ami’s cancer diagnosis led to the Brown family moving from rural Alaska — hence the show name, Alaskan Bush People — to a large estate in Washington state so Ami could be closer to her medical team.
Ami tells People of her health ordeal, “It was very scary, but I never gave up hope.”
Confirming Ami’s diagnosis, her oncologist, Dr. Deborah Wong of UCLA Medical Center, released a statement stating that “Amora Brown (of Alaskan Bush People) was diagnosed with stage III non-small cell lung cancer (cancer cells that form in the tissues of the lungs) in April 2017. Treatment for her cancer included a four-month course of chemotherapy with radiation. Her disease responded well to the treatment and she is now in remission.”
Lung cancer is the second most common form of cancer, and the leading cause of cancer deaths in both men and women in the United States. It can be particularly tricky to treat because often, symptoms do not show up until the cancer has spread to other organs.
There are two main types of lung cancer, which doctors group together based on how they act and how they are treated: Non-small cell lung cancer (what Ami was diagnosed with), the most common type and makes up about 85% of cases, and small cell lung cancer.
Smoking is most likely the first cause that comes to mind when thinking of lung cancer. And it is true that smoking causes most cases of this cancer, yet almost 20% of people who die from lung cancer in the United States each year have never smoked or used any other form of tobacco. While it is unknown if Ami smoked or not, we say that anyone with lungs can get lung cancer regardless of if you have smoked or not.
It is hard to lose anyone you are close to in life, especially a parent. What can be even harder is continuing to live your life and mark milestones, such as getting married, again after losing that person.
A wedding is a happy time, but it can be hard when you are missing someone who has since passed; in Bear’s case, he wished his dad Billy, another star of Alaskan Bush People, could have been at his wedding over the weekend.
But remembering all the wonderful ways your loved one enriched your life while they were alive and moving on from there can be such a powerful way to move forward and honor them. In other words, milestones matter.
Milestones matter for cancer survivors, such as Ami, too.
Chrissy Degennaro was diagnosed with multiple myeloma when she was 36 years old, and has been battling the disease for more than a decade now. Due to her cancer, Chrissy did not expect to make it to important milestones with her family — such as seeing her 2-year-old son start school. But she continues to mark milestones each year.
“I do live one day at a time,” Chrissy tells SurvivorNet. “Now, maybe I can go a week, a month, but things are looking pretty good. I’m able to be here for more milestones for my son, for more holidays, more birthdays. I do feel like I have had another chance at life.”
Contributing: Shelby Black & SurvivorNet staff