|Born||Danielle Michelle Brown
June 12, 1980
|Died||November 14, 2014 (aged 32)
New York City, New York, U.S.
|Cause of death||Metastatic Ovarian Cancer|
|Years active||2005–2014 (her death)|
Danielle Michelle Brown (June 12, 1980 – November 14, 2014), better known as Diem Brown, was a recurring cast member on MTV's reality television series The Challenge and an entertainment reporter. Brown founded MedGift, a website that provides a gift registry for patients and support pages to both people experiencing illnesses and their caregivers. She was a US army brat in Baumholder, Germany before her family settled in the United States. She attended high-school in Roswell, Georgia and obtained her bachelor's degree in Communication from Florida State University.
Since debuting on Real World/Road Rules Challenge: Fresh Meat in 2006, Brown competed in seven additional challenges. In her debut challenge, filmed in November 2005, she revealed she had been diagnosed with ovarian cancer to the surprise of both the cast and the production company. Her final season of The Challenge, Battle of the Exes II, aired in early 2015.
Reality television appearances
Fresh Meat was the twelfth season of Real World/Road Rules Challenge. Filmed in Australia, it featured two-player teams; each team had an alumnus of The Real World or Road Rules partnered with a newcomer to The Challenge (collectively known as "Fresh Meat") who was never part of one of the two aforementioned series. Brown was partnered with Road Rules alumnus Derrick Kosinski, and the pair finished in fourth place in the competition. Brown, who was just completing her treatment for cancer, went on to compete in The Duel. She took off her wig during one of the competitions, and this has been viewed as one of the most memorable and touching Challenge moments.
Brown was an entertainment reporter and worked for the Associated Press, Sky Living, and FOXNews.com. She also blogged about her experiences battling cancer and thoughts on The Challenge for People.com and hosted the MTV.com special Surviving Cancer.
Brown created the website MedGift, a patient gift registry, to help patients obtain help from family and friends while in treatment. She was also a patient advocate, speaking and appearing on numerous television and online shows and conferences. Brown took part in the first Stand Up to Cancer telethon as well as other charitable efforts such as MTV's Restore the Shore telethon for Hurricane Sandy. She was chosen as one of the initial 100 groundbreaking women to be profiled on MAKERS.com in 2012.
Personal life & health
Brown dated fellow Challenge castmember Chris "C.T." Tamburello for over a year and a half after meeting on The Duel in 2006. Brown credited Tamburello for playing a role in her remission recovery and giving her confidence. The couple competed on the same team on The Gauntlet III and were featured on the MTV documentary show MADE, on which Brown aspired to learn how to salsa dance to regain her confidence. Following their split, Brown and Tamburello competed on The Duel II as well as a team on Battle of the Exes, where they were the runners-up in the final.
In 2012, her ovarian cancer returned. Brown delayed treatment to harvest eggs before undergoing surgery to remove her ovary and receiving chemotherapy treatments. Dr. Drew Pinsky characterized the choice to delay treatment as "risky." In 2013, Brown's cancer went into remission. Two weeks after her last chemotherapy, Brown went through her seventh Challenge season, Rivals II, because she was told by doctors during her second bout with cancer that "seeing 2013 was not that likely." Her team finished in fourth place.
After her death, it was revealed that Brown's age had been misrepresented to the public. Her family supported the false information by including an incorrect age on programs distributed at her funeral, but later her sister was quoted in a People magazine article about the true facts as saying that Brown had felt that many years of her life were taken from her due to cancer and treatments, and that deducting two years was a response to those circumstances. Some media headlines and reports corrected her reported age at the time of her death in response to the later information.
Brown was diagnosed with cancer for the third time in June 2014, but initially shared this information only with close friends. In August 2014, while filming Battle of the Exes II in Panama, her eighth Challenge competition, Brown collapsed on set and was airlifted to New York where doctors performed emergency surgery.
Although it was widely reported that she was diagnosed with colon cancer, Brown stated that her ovarian cancer had metastasized to her colon and stomach. Brown died on November 14, 2014. She spent her final hours in the company of friends and family.
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