Talia Joy Castellano, who had been battling stage four neuroblastoma cancer, a tumor that develops from nerve tissue, for more than six years, passed away this morning in Orlando, Fla.
“#prayfortalia It is with a heavy heart that we share with all of you that Talia has earned her wings at 11:22am,” her family posted on the Angels for Talia Facebook page, which has more than 300,000 likes. ”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.”
There were nearly 20,000 messages posted on her page. One fan, Carla Ives, wrote, “When I read this, I screamed ‘NO!’ My prayers are definitely with Talia’s family. I never met her in person, but through You Tube and the pages and web sites, I feel that I knew this beautiful sweet soul. I am glad she is no longer suffering and in pain, but the world will miss this beautiful angel.”
The 13-year-old would have never called herself a victim, however. Every morning, she woke up and put makeup on her pale face, as well as a huge smile. She looked at each day as a gift and made it her short life’s mission to motivate others to do the same.
On her vlog, Talia would post homemade YouTube videos providing makeup tips for her rapidly-growing fan base. Instead of fearing death, she was more fearful about her fans worrying for her.
“I really really really love love doing YouTube,” she posted last year. “Just don’t freak out….”
Although she lived a very short life, she didn’t waste any of it.
Last year, one of her biggest dreams came true – she got to meet her favorite person, Ellen DeGeneres. Not only did she get to meet Ellen, but she was made an honorary CoverGirl on her show.
Her reaching for the stars didn’t stop there.
Only two months ago, the young lover of beauty started her own fashion line called That Bald Chick. With the help of Urbana Chappa, a Spanish-Persian designer — whose latest collection made it to the runways of New York and Los Angeles Fashion Weeks this year — she learned how to draw outfits on pre-made model cutouts and picked out fabric and buttons for her hip young teen line. Her parents are left still looking for a retailer.
“I wanted to create a fashion line for teens that is trendy,” Talia wrote NBCLatino while she was in her hospital bed. “I’m hoping to inspire young teens to express themselves through their fashion. I’m excited to have created this collection and will forever get to share it with the world!”