Castellano with her custom-made magazine cover , first shown on Ellen.
August 18, 1999
Orlando, Florida, U.S.
|Died||July 16, 2013
Fern Park, Florida
|Cause of death||Progressive Neuroblastoma Cancer|
|Resting place||Ohev Shalom Cemetery|
|Relatives||Mattia Castellano (sister)|
Talia Castellano (August 18, 1999 – July 16, 2013) was a Covergirl and an American Internet celebrity known for her YouTube channel "TaliaJoy18" that featured her makeup tutorials. Her channel was mainly dedicated to makeup, fashion and cancer vlogs where she would discuss neuroblastoma and leukemia, the diseases she battled for six years. At the time of Castellano's death, her channel had more than 750,000 subscribers and 45 million video views. As of November 2016, her YouTube channel has grown to more than 1,400,000 subscribers. After her death, her Instagram feed @taliajoy18 still manages to have over 1.3 million followers.
Castellano was born on August 18, 1999, in Orlando, Florida, and grew up in and around central Florida with her mother, Desiree Castellano, and in New York City with her father, Marc Winthrop. She had three siblings: Kaitlyn, Jackson Winthrop and Mattia Castellano.
When she was 7 years old, Castellano began experiencing fevers and abdominal pain. When an X-ray on February 14, 2007 showed unusual anatomical displacements in her chest, she was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a rare pediatric cancer of the peripheral nerve system. She underwent various types of therapies and treatments and was initially declared cancer-free, but relapsed three times in the next six years. During that time she was diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome (previously known as preleukemia) and progressive neuroblastoma. There are no known treatments to tackle both cancers at the same time. Although she was given only months to live, a novel drug therapy[which?] provided her with an additional 11 months.
Media attention and rise to fame
When first diagnosed, Castellano bonded with a family friend Tammy DeLaRosa, who was also a cancer survivor. Delarosa taught her how to use makeup. On August 27, 2011, she uploaded her first makeup tutorial, "Crazy eyeliner" to YouTube where it gained over 30,000 views. Castellano was known for battling the aggressive cancer, and she was well aware of the reality of the situation, according to her mother. She has stated in videos that she was not afraid of dying, and that "when it's my turn to go, That will be my turn to go." When Castellano became aware that her cancer was terminal, she opted to sign hospital forms requesting only palliative care.
In September 2012, she appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, and was announced a face for CoverGirl cosmetics. She subsequently appeared in CoverGirl magazine ads with her slogan "Makeup is my wig"
She also collaborated with the Orlando-based BASE Camp Children's Cancer Foundation, a program to give support to children battling cancer in the central Florida area and to their families.
Castellano died at the Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children in Fern Park, Florida, on July 16, 2013, about a month before her 14th birthday, after spending the last three months of her life in palliative care. After years of grueling treatment and with the disease metastasized, she declined any further proactive treatment. An announcement was made soon after the time of Castellano's death, on the Angels For Talia Facebook page.
On July 16, 2013, the day Castellano died, a video was posted on her YouTube channel by her older sister Mattia, who explained how she wanted some of Castellano's old fans to help carry out Talia's legacy, by completing the 13-year-old's bucket list. She also stated her determination to create a makeup line for Talia, and a clothing line, which is still yet to happen. Fans have been posting pictures of things Castellano wanted to do as part of her bucket list, such as getting a tattoo and having "a huge water balloon fight." Castellano's YouTube channel, Twitter and Instagram are now controlled by her older sister and mother, with occasional updates videos, and promotions.
During her illness, Castellano's father, Marc Winthrop, co-founded a charity, Band of Parents, focused on her wish to find a cure for neuroblastoma. This organization became one of the largest supporters of neuroblastoma research at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.
- Talia Castellano on Instagram
- "Talia Joy Castellano loses battle with cancer". India Today. July 17, 2013.
- "Talia loses her battle with cancer". Heritage Florida Jewish News. August 2, 2013.
- Video on YouTube
- Abraham, Tamara (October 16, 2012). "The youngest CoverGirl ever? Make-up blogger, 13, fighting two types of cancer becomes face of beauty giant". Daily Mail.
- Waldron, Ben (August 8, 2012). "13-Year-Old Cancer Patient Wins, Breaks Hearts". ABC News.
- Amethyst Tate (August 10, 2012). "Talia Castellano, 12-Year-Old Cancer Patient and YouTube Sensation, Will Not Let Terminal Illness Stop Her". International Business Times. Retrieved July 17, 2013.
- Saad, Nardine (July 16, 2013). "Talia Castellano: Ellen DeGeneres' honorary CoverGirl dies at 13". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 17, 2013.
- Rouse, Wade (July 17, 2013). "Talia Castellano's Mother: Teen CoverGirl Was 'Caring, Inspirational, Talented'". People. Retrieved July 17, 2013.
- Colleen Wright (July 16, 2013). "Honorary CoverGirl Talia Castellano dies after 6 1/2-year battle with cancer". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved July 17, 2013.
- Harrison, Lily. "Ellen DeGeneres Mourns Death of Cancer-Stricken Teen, CoverGirl Talia Castellano". E! Online. Retrieved July 17, 2013.
- Floyd, Tamara. "Talia Joy Castellano, 13 Years Old, Beauty Blogger Passes Away After Long Fight With Cancer". Babble.com. Retrieved July 24, 2004.
- Stebner, Beth (July 21, 2013). "Talia Joy Castellano bucket list: Fans carry out things 13-year-old YouTube star didn't get to do after losing battle to cancer". Daily News. New York.
- Stebner, Beth (July 30, 2013). "Father of YouTube makeup star Talia Castellano seeks cure for pediatric cancer". Daily News. New York.
- "2011 Annual Report" (PDF). Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. p. 52.
- "2012 Annual Report" (PDF). Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. p. 51.
- "2013 Youtube Rewind".