Remembering YouTube Star Talia Joy and Her Legacy

Talia Joy CastallanoAt the age of seven, Talia Joy Castellano was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma, a rare form of childhood cancer. She continued to fight her battle, despite having three relapses and being diagnosed with a secondary cancer, MDS/preleukemia. Talia Joy persisted on with her treatments, knowing there was no cure. She never let her cancer hinder her and worked to fulfill her dreams of becoming a makeup artist on her YouTube channel. Sadly, after six and a half years, Talia Joy Castellano lost her battle to cancer on July 16, 2013, leaving the rest of her family, friends, and followers to carry on her legacy.

Throughout Talia Joy’s life she held on to a positive mentality to “just kept swimming!” During her treatment, Talia Joy filmed makeup tutorials and put them on her YouTube channel, which has around 1.5 million subscribers to date. Her channel progressed, as she began to create fashion hauls and video diaries. She even pursued creating her own clothing line, all while coping with the strenuous cancer that attacked her nerve cells. Even when her hair began to fall out from the treatments, Talia Joy did not wear a wig, claiming, “Makeup is My Wig.” Although she has passed, Talia Joy’s incredible story continues to inspire people to fulfill their dreams and love themselves just the way they are through the legacy she left behind.

Talia Joy as honorary CoverGirlTalia Joy’s story caught the attention one of her role models, Ellen DeGeneres, who wanted to help Talia in accomplishing her dream, and even made her an honorary CoverGirl model and makeup artist.

Talia Joy Castellano completely encompassed her middle name, as she never let her illness define her or dwindle her positive outlook on life. Instead, it made her stronger and taught her to cherish each and every precious moment she had. Prior to her death, Talia Joy helped to raise about $125,000 for Orlando’s BASE Camp Children’s Cancer Foundation and continued her legacy to serve as a role model for anyone battling difficulties in their life through her makeup and fashion videos on YouTube. Months before her death, Talia Joy fulfilled her dream of designing a clothing line called That Bald Chick. In affiliation with a clothing company called Maison De Urbana, Talia Joy was able to sketch out the clothing she wanted in her line to show young teens that they can express themselves with their clothes.

Talia Joy and That Bald Chick clothing linePhotograph of Talia Joy’s first sketch for “That Bald Chick” clothing line.

On the day Talia Joy Castellano died from her battle with cancer, her older sister Mattia posted a video on her YouTube channel. Mattia explained how she wanted Talia Joy’s supporters and friends to continue honoring her legacy by accomplishing all the things listed on Talia Joy’s bucket list, which she wrote a few days prior to her death. Her devoted fans went above and beyond in completing the bucket list, posting pictures of themselves ranging from getting tattoos to having huge water balloon fights, accompanied by the hash tag #taliasbucketlist. Talia Joy’s YouTube channel, Twitter, and Instagram are now controlled by her older sister and mother, with occasional updates and videos as they continue carrying out her legacy. Her family is determined to carry out Talia Joy’s wishes and create a makeup and clothing line for her.

Talia Joy’s mother and sister created a foundation called Talia’s Legacy in order to raise money for research and clinical trials for childhood cancer drugs. They will assist families and children battling cancer with fundraisers through programs and events. Talia’s Legacy works in conjunction with the American Childhood Cancer Organization in order to address the needs of families and advocate, raise awareness, and provide research for childhood cancer. Talia Joy’s father, Marc Winthrop, also founded a charity called Band of Parents, which is focused on finding a cure for Neuroblastoma, one of Talia Joy’s biggest dreams. This organization became one of the largest supporters of Neuroblastoma research at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.

All Talia Joy Castellano wanted to do was “leave her footprints and handprint” on this world so she would never be forgotten. She is the epitome of what Everlasting Footprint stands for. Although Talia Joy may be gone, her legacy continues to thrive. The tremendous following she gained from her makeup/fashion tutorials and video diaries on YouTube while battling cancer ensures that the world will hear her story and carry on her legacy. During her brief 13 years on this planet, Talia Joy inspired millions to always fulfill their aspirations no matter the circumstance and ultimately create their own Everlasting Footprint.

Do you have an inspirational story to share? Leave a comment below or join our conversation on Twitter to remember Talia Joy or tell us about a child who inspires you!

About Sasha Polissky

Pursuing her BA in English with a minor in business, Sasha Polissky provides administrative and blogging support. Her interests include writing, photography, singing, and guitar, and she speaks English, Russian, and Spanish. She is involved Lady Spirit Hunters, and The National Society of Collegiate Scholars, and writes to combine passion and information. Ms. Polissky’s dedication to Everlasting Footprint stems from the loss of her two grandmothers and grandfather to cancer. She uses her experience with loss to write and connect the Everlasting Footprint community.

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