A Tribute To My Friend, Diem Brown


I can’t believe she is gone.

I know that is the cliché that everyone uses when someone passes away, and that is especially unbelievable in the case of Diem Brown as her cancer diagnosis was quite public, but the truth is that you never actually think your friend won’t be there anymore.

Today, you will read many tributes to Diem. Her friends and fans will describe her as a fighter who didn’t give up until the end. The people that she assisted with Medgift will remember how her only focus was to help as many people as she could. Me? I will remember her for her infinite kindness.

I first saw Diem on an MTV reality show called The Challenge. With the number of reality shows I watch on a weekly basis, sometimes it is hard to remember everyone but Diem had a smile that you just couldn’t forget. Her personality made her a fan favorite almost immediately and it wasn’t a surprise when the network kept calling her back to appear on subsequent Challenge episodes.

While she displayed her resolve in every competition that T.J. Lavin threw at her, perhaps the moment that is etched in the annals of every reality television fan’s memory is when she had to remove her hairpiece to take part in a water challenge and how tough it was for her. Her on-air boyfriend and fellow contestant at the time, Chris Tamburello just kept telling her how beautiful she was and how she never needed to wear any kind of wig. It’s his prophetic words that I remember today.

When I co-created and hosted my reality series, Reality Obsessed, I knew that I wanted to have Diem on the show in some capacity. She agreed almost immediately and on an episode where I was examining if it was possible to find love on a reality show, Diem offered advice and anecdotes about her personal experience. When I look back on that now, I think that the advice that she gave me could be applied couldn’t have been more appropriate as the one thing Diem knew was how to love.

I have been lucky enough to not have experienced a lot of death in my life. As a result, I don’t really know how to grieve. What I do know is that the world lost someone important today. In a day and age when reality stars are simply trying to book their next appearance at a bar or to judge a bikini contest, Diem extended her 15 minutes into a lifetime of making a difference.

While I sit here and mourn as I watch what will end up being my final interview with Diem, I take solace in the fact that she is no longer in any kind of pain and that she showed us all how to seize every moment that we have.

I am not going to say rest in piece Diem. I am going to say continue to live because I know that is what you are doing.

Here’s our final interview.

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