Talia, you were beautiful on the inside and outside, and you gave a full lifetime of inspiration to so many others in your own life, which was cut short by cancer at 13.
Talia Joy Castellano, you may have passed away from cancer on July 16 at a very young age , but you became a role model who will continue to give hope and strength to people young and old for years — even decades — to come.
Talia Joy Castellano, You Touched So Many Lives
Talia, you bravely fought the deadly childhood cancer neuroblastoma for seven years, as well as a second cancer, leukemia, but you never stopped smiling and living your life fully, despite your deadly diagnosis.
You didn’t feel sorry for yourself or spend any time moping about your fate. Instead you took joy (you were aptly named with the middle name, Joy) in doing the things you loved to do.
Making hundreds of instructional makeup videos on YouTube earned you millions and millions of views and fans.
Your videos were not only incredibly fun and helpful to girls and young women who wanted to get anything from a day-to-night smokey eye to a multi-colored Nicki Minaj look, but they were so natural and charming.
Your effervescent and intelligent personality shone through in every one of the clips that you produced from home.
You Didn’t Let Your Cancer Get You Down
Chemotherapy may have deprived you of your hair, but it only enabled your beautiful face, big expressive eyes and infectious smile and giggle to shine even more.
Yes, you were an inspiration to other childhood and teenage cancer sufferers, who watched you fulfill your dreams and live your life to the max on these videos. You were a role model to anyone who needed a push to go ahead — no matter what challenge they faced — and make their own dreams happen.
How could anyone whine and complain that life was too hard and that reaching their goals wasn’t easy, after they watched even one of your videos? They just brimmed with your enthusiasm for life.
Wonderfully, you became an honorary CoverGirl and you were “discovered” and befriended by talk show host Ellen DeGeneres, who brought you on her show.
But none of that fame changed you from the friendly, young woman eager to help others, that you were.
You said you didn’t think about dying, despite your medical condition, in a video that you made with The Truth 365 in 2012.
You Lived Life To The Very Fullest
“I’m just living life as I can … sometimes it’ll hit me and I cry that I have two types of cancer and nothing (no treatment) can really control it anymore, but I’m going to do all the things I ever wanted to do and live while I can,” you explained.
Despite running out of treatments to cure your cancer, you remained optimistic. “If I set my heart to it, then I’m going to be ok and I’m going to try to live every moment like my last one.”
You said you really didn’t have any fears — “I feel like I’ve done the things I wanted to do, which was to bring attention to this (childhood cancer),” you explained.
Well, you certainly did that, because so many people don’t realize how many children die from cancer every year — 2,500 — while 13,500 kids, will be diagnosed every year.
More research and more treatments are needed so that other young girls like you, Talia, don’t need to die anymore from this dreadful disease.
Talia, you loved makeup and you loved showing other young women how to wear it — you said it was “fun.” But through making your “fun” hobby happen in a very public way, you were able to inspire so many others to live their lives with the same kind of amazing courage that you had.
Rest in peace, little angel. Our prayers at HollywoodLife go out to you and your grieving family. The world is a much better place because you were part of it.
— Bonnie Fuller