Inspiring YouTube Makeup Guru dies at the age of 13

“How do you stay so positive?”

“A little fishy once told me, ‘Just keep swimming, just keep swimming…'”

Those were the words that inspired a nation to fall in love with the young girl by the name of Talia Castellano. At just 13 years of age, she had been battling two forms of cancer: Stage 4 neuroblastoma and pre-leukemia.

Talia became a YouTube sensation for her bubbly personality, and inspirational makeup tutorials. Having been a fan of makeup since the age of 7 when she was first diagnosed, Talia gained an innumerable amount of knowledge for such a young age. After she lost her hair, she refused to wear a wig. Instead, she chose to motivate herself and boost her self-confidence by experimenting with makeup at the request of one of her mother’s friends, who also battled cancer. After gaining nearly 14 million views on her videos, she became widely recognized, notably by Ellen DeGeneres — who invited Talia to come onto her show, and was made an honorary CoverGirl with a check for $20,000, and from where the popularized quote above originates.

Through social media, Talia and her family informed the public on a regular basis the status of her health. But that’s only one part of the picture. At her usual, Talia wished to keep her cancer a very minimal issue in her life — She didn’t let it hold her back into making tutorials or hosting giveaways, she frequently interacted with her fans, and was always buzzing about with makeup companies on what she could do next.

In her last video uploaded on YouTube, under her username Taliajoy18, Talia was still hopeful on doing more events planned for her followers and more videos after getting out of the hospital. Sadly, this wish could not be fulfilled. She passed away July 16 at 11:22 am, as confirmed by the statement made by her family on the official Facebook Page:

“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 here with us. We will miss you more than you will ever know baby girl.”

Ellen 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.” as well as “Thinking of my friend.”

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