Family and Friends Celebrate Diem Brown's Life One Year Later: 'She Was One of the Good Ones'

"In the last few days of her life she would say 'Live like it's your last day,' " Brown's sister Megan tells PEOPLE

Photo: Tatum Wan; Inset: Clint Spaulding/Patrick McMullan/Sipa

Friends and family of the late Diem Brown decided to mark the one-year anniversary of the reality star and activist’s death by doing what Diem did best – dancing like everybody is watching.

On Thursday evening, they gathered at New York’s No.8 club to celebrate the life of the MTV The Challenge competitor, who died on Nov. 14, 2014, after battling cancer for more than a decade.

“She was one of the good ones,” Aneesa Ferreira of MTV’s The Real World: Chicago told PEOPLE at the event. “People respected her for standing up to cancer and laughing in its face.”

The event, which doubled as a fundraiser for Brown’s charity MedGift, was an ’80s-themed dance party complete with glow sticks and a playlist composed entirely of hits from Diem’s favorite musical decade.

“We were always dancing together,” said Ferreira, 34. “No one could compete with her on the dance floor – whether she had hair or didn’t!”

Diem publicly shared her struggles through multiple bouts with cancer, including bloggging for PEOPLE, and was known for her zest for life and love of dancing – something her sister Megan Brown hopes people remember and celebrate.

“I hope people remember, she was diagnosed at 22 and passed at 34,” Megan told PEOPLE. “In that short time she did more than people do their whole lives. After she passed I realized she inspired thousands and thousands. She was an inspiration of strength and had a love of life.”

“In the last few days of her life she would say ‘Live like it’s your last day,’ ” said Megan. “She never realized how quickly cancer was going to take her. I think she would want everyone to not sweat the small stuff, and focus on the big story – surround yourself with good people and live your life to the fullest.”

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