Talia Castellano was diagnosed with neuroblastoma at the age of 7. During her ongoing years of treatment, she found comfort where most little girls do: playing with make-up. Talia didn’t just play though, she perfected the craft and made it an art form. She generated millions of followers on YouTube with her tutorials, attracting the attention of one of her role models, Ellen DeGeneres.
Talia said the one person in the world whose make-up she most wanted to do was Ellen’s, so Ellen brought Talia to the show as a guest in September of 2012, praising her flawless technique and commending her positive attitude in the face of such a struggle. (At the time, Talia revealed that she was now also enduring pre-leukemia.) The smile never left her face as she explained that a little fishy once told her to “just keep swimming.”
Ellen had some exciting news for her new friend that day—she was made an Honorary CoverGirl AND received a $20,000 check from the cosmetics company. Ellen later went on to send Talia to the I Heart Radio Music Festival as a red carpet correspondent and also announced that CoverGirl wanted her to make video tutorials specifically for their products. Their last interaction, it appears, was in January.
Three different times during her battle, Talia was told she was in remission. Her health continued to regress, however. Six months ago, she was hospitalized and this morning, the disease claimed her life at 11:22.
Ellen expressed her grief via Twitter approximately an hour after her passing and later sent out a tribute photo on Instagram. Tonight, we remember the inspirational Talia Joy and we thank Ellen for introducing us to her. These words ring true for all who embraced Talia’s light:
“There’s a depth to your soul that is not a 13-year-old soul. You are an old soul and you are very special and amazing and I’m so honored that you wanted to meet me and that I got to meet you.” —Ellen DeGeneres