Diem Brown might have showed off her tough-girl skills battling for the championship on MTV's "The Challenge," but the 28-year-old has faced a far more difficult battle in real life: her fight to beat ovarian cancer. Twice.
Brown recently sat down with a group of other strong, young cancer survivors to discuss their personal battles with the disease and how you can best help support loved ones with their diagnoses.
Despite the fact that she received an overwhelming amount of support in the early stages of her battle, during the nearly 20-minute online special, Brown said some of her friends didn't know how to deal with it and stopped communicating with her.
"People sometimes don't know how to help," she said. "No one hates a text message. If you don't know what to do, sending a text like, 'You're in my thoughts,' those random moments give you a little spark."
The feisty Southern girl also admitted that the hardest aspect of dealing with her diagnosis was being able to acknowledge the disease herself and getting over the vanity of how going through chemotherapy changes your appearance.
"My first time around, I wanted to pretend I didn't have it," Brown said. "I was like, 'I'm good, I'll throw a wig on and go party.' My personal story was: I did not ever think about cancer. It wasn't in my family, nothing at all," she said, adding that she'd never even heard of ovarian cancer and assumed it was something only senior citizens had to deal with.
"I had no idea what chemo was. All I pictured was grandma and grandpa; I didn't picture it as a young adult," she said. "My biggest thing was losing my hair. I didn't want to lose it. I wanted to look like a normal girl and go have fun. ... It takes time to realize those scars are trophies."