Talia Joy Castellano has been a joy to millions; the bubbly 13-year-old cancer patient chirped and laughed and won the hearts of millions on YouTube with her instruction videos on makeup. The videos impressed Ellen Degeneres, who helped make the girl an honorary CoverGirl and praised her optimism despite having terminal cancer. Talia died Tuesday at Arnold Palmer hospital.
Her official Facebook fan page said that “It is with a heavy heart that we share with all of you that Talia has earned her wings at 11:22am….God speed little one, may you be free from pain and suffering, may your soul free the light and love that you brought to so many on Earth during the short time you were here with us.”
Castellano was first diagnosed in 2007 with Stage 4 neuroblastoma, when she was just 7. Chemotherapy put it into remission for about a year, but when it returned, it spread.
Though the chemo made her lose her hair, she decided to make this into a fashion statement, refusing to wear a wig. Her perky plucky positivism won over the heart of DeGeneres who said, “I’m a CoverGirl, and CoverGirl heard your story and they want to make you an honorary CoverGirl. And they also want to give you something.” She was then presented with a photo of herself representing the brand and a check for $20,000.
Not that the girl, in her optimism, was simply in denial. She said “This is not fair to me anymore. I’m only 13. I shouldn’t really have to be doing this. No one should have to do this, not even adults. And it’s really not fair for kids to have cancer and it really freakin’ sucks. It sucks so bad.”
Nevertheless, she said “Having cancer has been a gift, yet a horrible, horrible terrifying thing. But I’ve gotten so many benefits from it … having a YouTube channel and having to inspire people and having people look up to me and explaining to you guys how I adore and love makeup — using it as my wig — and having so much self-confidence and going out to the grocery store without a wig. It’s amazing but the journey of having cancer was amazing but every journey has an end.”
DeGeneres tweeted her sadness upon the young girl’s death. “This year I met a very special girl, and today we lost her. Sending my heart to Talia’s family. I’m so sad.”