As many of you know, I love reality television. I started watching at a young age, and I was (and am today) a huge fan of The Real World and The Challenge. In May 2006, The Challenge was known as Real World/Road Rules Challenge, and the season was called Fresh Meat.
Fifth grade Brett thought this show was the best thing since the invention of sliced bread. This show would also start Brett’s commitment to watching The Challenge. One of the newbies or “fresh meat” was Diem. Diem was a tall, beautiful blonde with a heart of gold. Spirited, respectful, and kind, she was the type of person you wanted to be best friends with. I’m talking about Diem as if she was a friend of mine, but after watching her participate in almost a decade’s worth of shows, I very well feel that she could have been my friend.
While on her rookie season of the MTV hit, Diem revealed that she previously had been diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer at age 23. Never though in her run on the shows did she play the cancer victim card. Viewers first hand were fortunate to see how this fighter won her battle of against her illness. I remember so clearly the episode where she took off her wig after finally being in remission. Her bravery was truly awe-inspiring even to a middle schooler.
Diem’s journey with cancer was not a short one. After beating the disease once, she was diagnosed again. In Summer 2014, she was diagnosed with cancer for the third time. This time, her case was more serious.
The past few years, Diem Brown was featured as a blogger for People Magazine. On the site, Diem would share her feelings and open up to readers about very intimate life moments. She shared a video of her hair falling out when she tried to brush it. She revealed that she had her eggs removed and frozen. But she never pitied herself. She was a fighter. I know I keep saying that, but it’s true.
This past Friday, I was sitting in class and went on Facebook. Right there in front of me was an announcement from People saying that Diem had passed at the age of 32. I was in shock. I was upset and I couldn’t believe what was going on. I grew up watching Diem on television. How could she be gone?
I knew that these last few weeks had been difficult, and her last tweet sent out portrayed that she was in need of prayer. After reading what her last few hours were like, I know that she was okay. It sounds silly but after watching her for years, everything that was done, all of the conversations had, and the memories reviewed sounded exactly like bright and bubbly Diem.
For MTV super fans like myself, we know Diem’s alter ego – Diem in P.M. Diem loved to have fun and loved to dance. Come night time and a little bit of wine, Diem transformed to Diem in the P.M. and nobody could stop her from dancing. Right after she passed away, the alarms went off in the hospital, and her friends and family knew it was her having her own little dance party.
There’s nothing romantic about death. Grief is like the ocean: it’s deep and dark and bigger than all of us. And pain is like a thief in the night. Quiet. Persistent. Unfair. Diminished by time and faith and love. – One Tree Hill
Fellow MTV stars and cast mates have taken to social media to express their emotions; grief as a result of the loss of a friend and remembrance of great times with a special person. It’s truly heartwarming to see all of the great words said about such an amazing, strong, and graceful person.
Diem was more than just a reality star, she was an activist. She single-handedly started the foundation MedGift, an organization that took donations to help those sick like herself pay for hospital stays and other expenses. The past few seasons that Diem was on the show, she would always write MedGift on her arm, and so would her fellow competitors. I don’t think that there was a single person who could say something bad about her, that’s the type of person she was.
I never knew Diem, but at the same time I did. I grew up with her and in a way, I saw her grow too. I saw her at her best in the competition, and at her worst as she fought hard for her life as she shared her journey online. It was a goal of mine to make it on The Real World so I could end up on The Challenge. I loved Diem’s relationship with CT and kind of hoped that I would have my own experience like that too. Even though they broke up, you still were able to see just how much they cared for one another and just how much the other cast members cared for her too.
While she is physically gone, Diem will never be forgotten, and her presence will always be felt amongst her friends, family, and fans. All we can do now is carry out her legacy and live life to the fullest. Diem was more than just a reality star to me. She was an inspiration and role model, and I know I will not forget her. Together, we can carry out her legacy by supporting MedGift and continue to show that she was truly a gift.