ORLANDO - A bubbly Orlando teen whose YouTube makeup tutorials inspired millions left many heartbroken after the 13-year-old’s family shared that she lost her battle with cancer.
Talia Joy Castellano, known as TaliaJoy18 on YouTube, had been fighting neuroblastoma and pre-leukemia, but her confidence, extensive knowledge of cosmetics and makeup skills (which could have rivaled many professional makeup artists) propelled her to internet stardom and beyond.
She even captivated popular daytime talk show host Ellen DeGeneres, who featured the young makeup guru on her show and helped her become an honorary Cover Girl.
But she didn’t just focus on beauty, she made it her mission to raise awareness about childhood cancer.
She often vlogged from her hospital room while undergoing treatment. The beauty lost her hair to chemotherapy, but the self-assured teen didn’t feel the need to wear fake hair and she made that clear in one of her profile photos that had “Makeup Is My Wig” written across her scalp.
So many fell in love with her, which is why many so many were devastated when they heard the news about her death after the following message was posted on Talia’s Facebook page Tuesday:
“#prayfortalia It is with a heavy heart that we share with all of you that Talia has earned her wings at 11:22 a.m. 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,” a family member wrote. (Facebook page here: http://on.fb.me/12KwrAr )
Millions took to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube to share their condolences and express how much Talia touched their lives.
“Crazy how someone you've never met can hold a special place in your heart. many tears reading this. Fly high Talia,” one wrote underneath the Facebook announcement.
Another 13-year-old who is also diagnosed with cancer wrote the following on Talia’s YouTube channel: “…I was diagnosed with a very rare cancer called Malt Lymphoma at age 11. During that time I felt useless, I...could not do anything to help myself, or my family. But, one stormy afternoon surfing Youtube I found your videos. You inspired me to be me not let my sickness bring me down. You showed me that there is hope…” she wrote.
Ellen DeGeneres Tweeted, “This year I met a very special girl, and today we lost her. Sending my heart to Talia’s family. I’m so sad.”
In a 2012 interview by The Truth 365 Film on YouTube, Talia said she wasn’t afraid to die, and when asked why, she replied, “I feel like, I’ve done the thing that I have wanted to do which is bring attention to this (childhood cancer).”
When asked what her one wish would be, she said it would be the cure to cancer.
Below is one of her most popular videos, called My COVERGIRL Night Makeup Tutorial. Press play below or click here to watch: http://youtu.be/Lw7nobm9qGI