Diem Brown looks radiant at the Self magazine “Rock the Summer” event.
There’s no doubt about it: Diem Brown is a fighter. “The Challenge” is a cakewalk compared to what the two-time ovarian cancer survivor has been forced to endure in her everyday life, but although she’s beaten the disease into remission twice, the MTV star recognizes that there are many who haven’t been — and won’t be — as fortunate.
In her most recent blog for People.com, Diem writes about 13-year-old Talia Castellano, a Florida native who lost her six-year battle with neuroblastoma and leukemia earlier this week. Talia had gained a large following from her inspirational YouTube makeup tutorials, which overflowed with relentless positivity, and she even once dazzled Ellen DeGeneres on her daytime talk show. Though they never had a chance to meet, Diem says that Talia’s strength in the face of an uncertain future made her feel a deep connection to her.
“I was quite moved by how much Talia’s passing affected me…I felt as if I knew her, as if we shared something,” Diem writes. “I know I am not alone in that.” She’s correct in that assertion, as thousands of strangers took to the web this week to express their sorrow. To honor Talia, Diem later notes that she followed one of Talia’s lip-lining techniques before settling down to pen her post, and that she’s currently sporting ruby-red lips that would have made the teenager proud.
Before signing off, Diem reinforces the impact that one life can have on others, saying that “you may think you go unnoticed, but you don’t,” and urges readers to reach out to friends, family and even mere acquaintances often, not just when tragedy hits. “Let people know how much they mean to you and acknowledge that you positively affect the lives of more people than you could ever realize.” Thank you for the wise reminder, Diem.
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