Tags: Cancer | diem brown | cancer | medgift | leukemia | ovarian | MTV

Relating to Diem Brown

By    |   Tuesday, 18 November 2014 04:34 PM

First thing last Saturday morning, a tab slid onto my computer screen offering STORIES THAT MIGHT INTEREST YOU. The headline read, "Reality Star Diem Brown Dies After Cancer Battle."
Usually, I find these alerts annoying. But this time the genie in the computer had guessed correctly that I would click on a story with the word cancer in it.
The story, from USA Today, was that Diem Brown, a star of MTV's “Real World/Road Rules Challenge” had died from ovarian cancer on Friday, November 14, at age 32.
Brown had first been diagnosed with ovarian cancer at 23, and it returned three times: in 2006, in 2012, and a third time earlier this year. She competed in one competition just after finishing a round of treatment, even taking off her wig for the cameras.
I have to admit that I had never heard of Diem Brown. In fact, I’ve never watched any reality show.  But I was still touched when I saw the photos of this beautiful woman and read about what she endured.
Brown had chronicled her fight in a blog for People.com, becoming an advocate for cancer patients and founding MedGift, a support registry for those suffering from any illness.
The charity provides a way for patients to create gift registries so that loved ones can contribute money and time to help a patient cope with treatment or ease a financial burden. It also provides tools to create and promote support pages for people with cancer or other health-related needs, and has a space where readers can ask questions that are answered by a panel of experts.
On her blog, Brown wrote about her cancer treatments, her desire for a family and children, her fertility treatments, and about her struggles, fears, and hopes.
In considering at why this woman’s story resonated with me, I thought back to a doubles tennis championship I had competed in, and won, in August 2003, while I was in between rounds of chemotherapy, just before my first stem cell transplant.
I asked my doubles partner, Donna, if I should keep my scarf on or show my bald head as a way to throw our opponents off balance. I think it was a joke. In any case I wore the scarf. I never could deal with wigs.
Maybe Diem didn’t like wigs either.
Unlike leukemia, which is curable, ovarian cancer is often fatal because it is difficult to detect until it is too late.
In addition to making you feel terrible about a life ended too early, a story like Diem Brown’s can send shivers down your spine. It’s a reminder that you can do everything right health-wise, and still get hit. (For example: Me.)
So I’m taking a moment to appreciate what this young woman did by putting her energy into helping others rather than just talking the talk, by being honest and open about her illness in a popular venue such as People.
She wrote: "No matter what it is, you're going to have the bad days, but if you have hope throughout, you won, no matter what the results.”

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First thing last Saturday morning, a tab slid onto my computer screen offering STORIES THAT MIGHT INTEREST YOU. The headline read, "Reality Star Diem Brown Dies After Cancer Battle."
diem brown, cancer, medgift, leukemia, ovarian, MTV
Tuesday, 18 November 2014 04:34 PM
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