January 06, 2015 03:30 PM

The new season of The Challenge: Battle of the Exes 2 seems set to be a somber one as two cast members, Diem Brown and Ryan Knight, have died since the season filmed. But, in an exclusive clip from the opener, Brown proves her brief run on Exes 2 would be as poignant and positive as ever.

In this exclusive clip, Brown, who had already battled ovarian cancer twice, shares that winning the competition would help her afford a surrogate to pursue her lifelong dream of becoming a mother.

Brown was medically evacuated from her eighth stint on the show before ultimately losing her third battle against cancer on Nov. 14.

Megan Brown, Diem’s sister, tells PEOPLE why Diem went on the show despite her health concerns.

“We believe most of all she went on this Challenge to prove to her body she still had some fight in her before succumbing back to treatment … to be an inspiration to those also fighting not to give up, ever,” Megan says.

And Alicia Quarles talks about her close friend Diem as a powerful competitor, who badly wanted to win the Challenge title.

“Above all, Diem was a fierce competitor. We saw that during her courageous battles with cancer and of course the world got to see it when Diem would go on the MTV Challenges and kick butt,” Quarles says.

“D decided to do another challenge for many reasons. If you talk to her MTV co-stars, they would probably tell you she went back on because although she came close, Diem never won a Challenge. She wanted that title. A lot of us who are close to her didn’t want her to go back on,” Quarles says. “Of course none of us, including Diem, knew how sick she was, or that this cancer was so aggressive. When we spoke about it, D said she was going on to to earn money to use towards her medical bills. When D set her mind on something, there was no changing her or stopping her.”

The clip also features a moment between Brown and her on-and-off boyfriend Chris ”CT” Tamburello, who can’t resist a bit of poolside flirtation.

The Challenge: Battle of the Exes 2 premieres at 11 p.m. ET on MTV.

Reporting by MICHELLE TAUBER

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