When I saw Diem Brown’s tweet this past Tuesday that said “I NEED PRAyErs and advice my doctors are seemingly giving up but I won’t & can’t rollover. Whatever option I have to LIVE I’m grabbing!” I knew things were dire, but I still held onto hope. Now, one day after Diem’s passing, I still can’t bring myself to blog about it. I just don’t have words; and in some ways, I feel like it’s not my place. While we followed each other on social media and exchanged a few messages over the years, there were so many more people who knew her intimately.
Yet, I was literally raised on MTV, its shows, and its people. My blog bleeds MTV as I’ve gotten to watch, know, and interview many of the stars that were born on the network’s programming. “The Challenge” has long been my favorite reality TV show. I remember Diem from the moment I sized her up with skepticism when Bunim/Murray Productions introduced us to her as “Fresh Meat“- the first set of contestants to “The Challenge” that were not cast members from “Real World” or “Road Rules.” Her smile, her optimism, her tenacity were unforgettable. She gave a face to ovarian cancer and what it was like to have cancer as a young adult just as Pedro Zamora did for HIV/AIDS when he appeared on the original “Real World: San Francisco” season. I fell in love, like so many fans, with her on again/off again/on again romance with Challenge bad boy Chris “CT” Tamburello. The scene in “The Challenge: The Duel” where Diem competes without a wig for the first time was one of the most empowering moments in the history of reality TV. Diem was my she-ro! Watch it again — CLICK HERE.
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I also watched Diem’s career blossom beyond reality TV fame in a way that we all can be proud. Her blog on People.com candidly described her journey as a cancer survivor giving hope and spreading awareness. Knowing firsthand the stress incurred by the cost the medical care, she founded MedGift– a patient registry that touts “skip the flowers and give the gift of support to those experiencing a health related hardship.” Little did we know that, years later, a MedGift registry would be opened for Diem. I wrote about it on this blog back in August when it launched seeking support from my readership and her fans (yes, i made my own contribution as well). As I type this blog post, her MedGift registry is still alive with donations totaling over $77,000. CLICK HERE to be taken to her registry where you can make your own donation.
Hmm, I guess I do have words to share after all. Before writing this post, I’ve mostly taken comfort in reading social media postings from Diem’s MTV family, entertainment family, friends, and fans. If you haven’t read it already, there’s an article about her final moments on People.com that I found to be most informative/descriptive — CLICK HERE. I haven’t read an update yet about what MTV and Bunim/Murray Productions may or may not do with the footage of Diem competing on “The Challenge: Battle of the Exes 2” taped this past summer, but I’d like to see it and the full season air as scheduled with a special tribute episode dedicated to Diem. What do you think?
Since Diem is Latin for “day,” I’ll close by saying “Requiescat in Pace, Diem Brown.”
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VIDEO: Remembering Diem Brown
(click here to view on MTV.com)
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- Ifelicious®- A different kind of Challenge: MTV’s Diem Brown third bout with cancer. Please help
- People– Inside Diem Brown’s final days and her ‘peaceful’ goodbye
- People– Diem Brown Blogs: Farewell for now
- MTV The Challenge– Remembering Diem Brown (video montage)
- International Business Times– Diem Brown Supported By Chris ‘CT’ Tamburello Prior To Her Death; A Timeline Of The MTV Reality Stars’ Relationship