Talia Joy Castellano, a bubbly cancer patient who became an honorary CoverGirl with the help of Ellen DeGeneres, has died. She was 13. The Orlando, Fla., teenager became a YouTube sensation with her motivational makeup tutorial videos, which captured the attention of the TV host. Talia died Tuesday at Arnold Palmer Hospital, with the announcement coming from her official Facebook fan page.
“It is with a heavy heart that we share with all of you that Talia has earned her wings at 11:22am,” the post read. “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 here with us. We will miss you more than you will ever know baby girl.”
In 2007, Castellano was diagnosed with Stage 4 neuroblastoma, an aggressive cancer. She was 7. She underwent chemotherapy and went into remission for 13 months, but the cancer returned the next year. The cancer went in and out of remission for several years. In August 2012, her cancer spread to her bones, and she developed pre-leukemia.
However, during her bouts with the disease, after she lost her hair, the affectionately called “professional, YouTube Makeup Guru” refused to don a wig. Instead, she chose to boost her self-confidence by experimenting with makeup at the behest of one of her mom’s friends, who also battled cancer. Castellano then started taping herself giving makeup tutorials and posted the videos on YouTube. One clip reached more than 8 million views, and numerous videos earned more than 500,000.