Diem Brown has lost her long battle with cancer, People magazine confirmed on Friday. The reality star, who was best known for her stint on MTV’s “Real World/Road Rules Challenge,” was 32.
Brown was first diagnosed with ovarian cancer when she was 23. However, after conquering the illness, it returned once again in 2012 and then for a third and final time in 2014, with the cancer spreading to her colon and stomach.
"I'm trying not to think about the entire war," she said after being admitted to the ICU at a New York City hospital, "but each battle at a time."
As Brown’s conditions worsened, the reality star’s friends and family gathered around her bedside -- including her longtime, on-again, off-again boyfriend Chris “CT” Tamburello, who also appeared on the MTV reality show. According to reports, Tamburello rushed to Brown’s side when he learned of his ex-girlfriend’s situation, even promoting her foundation, MedGift, on his Instagram account.
“Sometimes just being there for someone can be the difference between a good and bad day. @diembrown could definitely use a few,” he wrote to his followers. “Please go to her support page.”
But this isn’t the first time Tamburello has acted as a bolster for Brown. Check out the timeline of their relationship that proved just how strong their bond was until the very end:
When the two first met during “The Challenge: The Duel” in 2006, Brown was publicly battling ovarian cancer and feeling insecure over the sideffects from the chemotherapy. But Tamburello, who was known as the show’s bad boy, had a soft spot for Brown and helped her through the challenges she faced, including raising Brown’s confidence in feeling comfortable in her own skin.
"I tell her I don’t want her to hide herself from me. It’s about her opening herself up to me and being comfortable around me as her. And as she takes her bandana off…," Tamburello told "The Challenge" cameras at the time. Thus marked the kiss saw around the world.
“I want to cry. It’s like I’m watching ‘The Notebook,” a fellow competitor said of the iconic cliff kiss.
Not Using Labels
After “The Duel” ended, both Tamburello and Brown revealed they weren’t using "boyfriend/ girlfriend" titles considering that they lived on opposite ends of the country. However, the chemistry between the two had us thinking otherwise.
The Gauntlet Of Love
In 2008 the duo appeared as a couple on “The Challenge: The Gauntlet III.” It appeared in Brown’s bio that she was more concerned with getting into a fight with her fellow cast member Beth than she was with fighting with her sometimes-hotheaded boyfriend.
Broken Up (Part 1)
When the two participated in “The Duel II” they were no longer dating. However, Tamburello clearly displayed feelings for his former flame when he was booted from the MTV series after getting into a fistfight with another cast member, allegedly over Brown.
Battle Of The Exes
Although their experience on “The Challenge: Battle of the Exes” had its intense moments in 2012, the duo both attributed the competition as what helped them reconcile after their break up. But all the shippers in the world couldn’t get their dream couple back together. The two revealed they just weren’t on the same page… or so they thought.
Reunited And It Feels So Good
Tamburello and Brown reunited in 2013 when the two appeared on “Rivals II.” As the show’s bad boy helped Brown throughout her second diagnosis of ovarian cancer, their relationship ignited, resulting in a steamy hot tub kiss. Althought the two weren't in a Facebook status-worthy partnership, the duo did declare that they had feelings for one another.
But that’s as far as they would discuss their romance. During the “Rivals II” reunion show, Tamburello repeatedly told the host to “mind his business” when it came to inquiries regarding TV’s hottest romance.
How Did Their Relationship Leave Off?
Throughout all the turbulence of their relationship, Tamburello and Brown ended just as strong as they began. Brown was even Tamburello’s “Woman Crush Wednesday” in his latest Instagram photo.
"There is nothing more delightful then an honest smile when having an awful day. To feel a cool breeze flowing over your body in the burning heat. To see the sun shining bright through the pouring rain and to have a friend who tells you that nothing comes close by any of them then you..." -A.F Your smile can change the world. It's not the other way around... @diembrown #myly #strongereveryday Feel free to check out her support page and help keep a smile on her face! #MedGift
“There is nothing more delightful then an honest smile when having an awful day. To feel a cool breeze flowing over your body in the burning heat. To see the sun shining bright through the pouring rain and to have a friend who tells you that nothing comes close by any of them then you..." -A.F Your smile can change the world. It's not the other way around... @diembrown #myly #strongereveryday Feel free to check out her support page and help keep a smile on her face! #MedGift”
You can check out Brown’s foundation MedGift here to learn more about her cause.