Honorary CoverGirl Talia Joy Castellano Dies at 13
People is reporting that Talia Joy Castellano, the spunky teen whose YouTube makeup tutorials drew over 40 million views and earned the girl a clothing line and honorary CoverGirl ad, has lost her six-year battle with cancer. She was 13.
“It is with a heavy heart that we share with all of you that Talia has earned her wings at 11:22am,” her official Facebook page announced this morning. “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.”
Thanks to her upbeat personality in the face of her diagnosis, Castellano’s vlogs quickly became a big hit around the web.
“I’ve always been a really bubbly girl, and my mom always tells me to think about the positive,” Castellano told PEOPLE last year. “Even though cancer is a negative, horrible thing, there are positives. For people to see that there are kids that get cancer… it’s just a true fact. Me putting a face on it makes a difference.”
The Florida native appeared on Ellen last September, where the host welcomed her to the CoverGirl family.
“How do you stay so positive?” DeGeneres asked Talia, whose prognosis was worsening.
“When people ask me that, I’m just, ‘What do you want me to do? Be depressed?” said Talia, whose motto was that of Finding Nemo‘s Dory, voiced by DeGeneres in the film: “Just keep swimming.”
Talia had been hospitalized for the past six months following a relapse. In the last several weeks, fans flooded social media with photos of themselves checking off items from Talia’s “To Do” list in her honor, sharing them with the hashtag #taliasbucketlist.
In the wake of Castellano’s death, DeGeneres added her voice to the millions who’ve expressed their condolences. “This year I met a very special girl, and today we lost her,” she tweeted. “Sending my heart to Talia’s family. I’m so sad.”
Talia’s family appeared on The Today Show this morning to discuss their loss, and the kind of person Talia had been.
“She was funny, caring, inspirational, talented – very talented,” her mother, Desiree Castellano, said.
“She loved every single one of her fans, and she always wanted to give back to them,” added Talia’s sister, Mattia Castellano.
Her father, Marc Winthrop, also contributed his own memories of his late daughter, saying, “She said she wanted to make her mark, and she did that.”