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A day after her death from cancer at 13 years old, YouTube beauty guru and honorary CoverGirl Talia Joy Castellano is being remembered by family and fans for the inspiring impact she made in her short life.
“She was funny, caring, inspirational, talented — very talented,’’ her mother, Desiree Castellano, said on TODAY Wednesday.
Talia battled neuroblastoma, an aggressive form of cancer, for six years before her death on Tuesday morning. The makeup tutorials made by the Orlando teen, who shunned wearing a wig after losing her hair from her cancer treatments, have been watched more than eight million times. She had more than 750,000 followers on her YouTube channel, where she regularly posted videos demonstrating makeup techniques and reviews even when she was hospitalized.
Her journey of living with cancer and becoming a CoverGirl deeply touched TODAY.com readers, who made her story the most “liked” post ever on TODAY’s Facebook page with 897,746 likes. She also had her own popular website, angelsfortalia, with all of her tutorials, vlogs and more.
“She loved every single one of her fans, and she always wanted to give back to them,’’ Talia's sister, Mattia Castellano, said on TODAY Wednesday.
In October 2012, Talia realized her dream of appearing on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,’’ where she was overwhelmed after it was announced that she was being made an honorary CoverGirl for the cosmetics company. She also was sent by the show to cover a radio festival in Las Vegas, where she interviewed musicians like Usher and Gwen Stefani and got to hang out with Justin Bieber.
Talia was also active in raising awareness of the fight against children's cancer through her work with BASE Camp as part of the Children's Cancer Foundation. The program provides year-round support for children battling cancer and their families.
Tributes poured in on social media on Tuesday after her family announced on her official Facebook page, Angels for Talia, that she had “earned her wings” at 11:22 a.m. Talia would have turned 14 years old next month.
“She said she wanted to make her mark, she wanted to leave her mark, and she did that,’’ her father, Marc Winthrop, told TODAY Wednesday.