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As we mourn the recent passing of young reality TV star Diem Brown, we celebrate her bright attitude and many triumphs during her 11 year battle with cancer. At just 23 years old, Diem, most famous for her role on MTV’s Real World/Road Rules Challenge,  was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. This was some 11 years ago. Through all of the ups and downs of dealing with a cancer diagnosis, especially at her young age, Diem remained determined and positive.

"I know I will be fine," she Tweeted at the time of a recurrence in 2012. "I beat Cancer once & I'm gonna do it again! I know God has a reason for every speed bump in life & I'm ready." 

We’ve been inspired as we’ve followed Diem’s journey through her blog on PEOPLE.com. She didn’t miss a beat on bringing lifesaving awareness to this devastating disease and putting it on the radars of her friends, family and fans.diem brown2

Just last month, Diem revealed her cancer had come back, this time in her stomach and colon; it had metastasized to her liver and lymph nodes. At just 34 years old, she passed away Friday morning in New York City.  

As we send love and condolences to the friends and family of Diem, we also recognize how truly inspired we are by her bravery and leadership. In the name of Diem and all other young adults whose lives are cut short by cancer, we’ve taken this issue under our wing and are determined to put an end to this loss of life through our Never Too Young campaign, and other initiatives. 

Thank you, Diem, for being so utterly candid about your battle with cancer and allowing so many others to learn from your journey. Peace be with you and your family.

You can support research into young-onset colorectal cancer through the Colon Cancer Alliance Blue Hope Research Award. Learn more.

Don’t forget, the Colon Cancer Alliance serves as a source of information about colon health. If you have additional questions about colon cancer screening or are in need of support, please contact our free Helpline at (877) 422-2030. We’re here to help.  

Photo credit: PEOPLE.com

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