Talia was diagnosed with a stage 4 neuroblastoma on 14th February 2007. She was cancer-free for 13 months, but the cancer relapsed in September 2008. Again, she was cancer-free for almost 2 years, but then sadly relapsed for a second time on 13th August 2010, and, then, for a third time on 8th April, 2011. In 2012, Talia’s cancer spread to her bones, and she developed pre-leukaemia, Despite going through such a horrible journey, Talia never let this get to her.
Talia quickly found a passion for make-up and fashion. Before long she was on YouTube doing beauty tutorials on her channel (TaliaJoy18). She gained thousands of viewers and inspired people from across the globe with her positive, spunky attitude.
In 2012, Talia was recognised by comedienne and TV host, Ellen DeGeneres. Talia was invited onto the Ellen Degeneres Show, where she was made honorary cover girl. Ellen fell in love with 13-year-old Talia, and soon gave her the opportunity to interview celebrities and do so much more.
Talia was an inspiration to the world and everyone who knew her – or about her – was immediately touched by her story.
Living by her slogan “make-up is my wig”, Talia was happy to be hair-free and used make-up to make herself feel beautiful. In May 2013, Talia and the fashion designer Urbana Chappa completed the design of a clothing line called ‘That Bald Chick’. Despite fighting a deadly disease, Talia lived every day to the fullest, following the Finding Nemo quote ‘just keep swimming’ (voiced by Ellen Degeneres herself, who plays Dory).
Unfortunately, despite her positivity, Talia’s battle ended on Tuesday 16th July 2013 – a month before her 14th birthday. On her Facebook page, her family released the following statement:
“It is with a heavy heart that we share with all of you that Talia has earned her wings at 11:22am. Please lift her beautiful soul, her beautiful light to heaven and please send your love and prayers to her family during this most difficult time. God speed little one, may you be free from pain and suffering, may your soul feel the light and love that you brought to so many of us on this Earth during the short time you were her with us. We will miss you more than you will ever know baby girl.”
Celebrities including Demi Lovato, Camryn and Ryan Seacrest shared their condolences on Twitter alongside Ellen Degeneres, who also released a statement on behalf of The Ellen Show:
“It’s a sad day at The Ellen DeGeneres show. This morning, we lost a friend. Talia Joy Castellano was an inspiring young make-up artist with a lot of talent and a lot of heart. She inspired everyone at the show, and many, many more. Our hearts are with her family. We love you, Talia.”
Shortly before Talia’s passing, she wrote a bucket-list of things she wanted to do and fans from across the world took to this list and began doing things and checking them off on Talia’s behalf.
The amount of people who have been touched by Talia’s story is incredible and, just like Talia wanted, she will still be remembered and her legacy will live on. Her work with BASEcamp, run by Children’s Cancer Foundation, will continue and so much is going to be done on her behalf. She was an amazing little girl who did so much in her short time.
Rest in Peace, Talia Joy Castellano.
1999 – 2013
Related Article: Zach’s Amazing Legacy