Talia Joy Castellano known around the world for her YouTube videos, died July 16 at Arnold Palmer Hospital in Orlando, Fla. after a hard-fought battle with cancer.

The announcement of her death was made on her official Facebook fan page, which has over 506,250 members.

Castellano was diagnosed with stage 4 neuroblastoma in February 2007 and successfully battled it twice before suffering a third relapse in 2011. During her treatments Castellano endured multiple surgeries, hospital stays, lab tests, chemo treatments and experimental procedures. In August 2012, Castellano’s cancer spread into her bones, and she was diagnosed with pre-leukemia.

Amid her illness, Castellano maintained a love of makeup and eventually launched her own YouTube channel, TaliaJoy18, which eventually garnered 893,500 subscribers and millions of views on each of her videos featuring heartwarming stories and makeup and beauty tips.

One of Castellano’s longtime dreams was to meet Ellen DeGeneres and do her makeup, which became a reality in September, when the Emmy-winning comedian and talk show host invited her on the show. During the appearance, DeGeneres told Castellano that the makeup brand CoverGirl heard her story and wanted to make her a CoverGirl, before presenting her with her own CoverGirl portrait and $20,000.

Upon hearing news of Castellano’s death, DeGeneres remembered her in a Twitter post. “This year I met a very special girl, and today we lost her. Sending my heart to Talia’s family. I’m so sad,” she wrote.


Courtney Jacobs

AFRO Staff Writer