Larger than Life – Talia Joy Castellano

Ayesha Javid pays a tribute to the life of Talia Joy Castellano, a YouTuber, makup artist and honorary Cover Girl who spread her positive energy to the world through makeup tutorials.

‘Just keep swimming’ from the movie ’Finding Nemo’ was the life motto of 13 year old Talia who was fighting with two deadly diseases, Leukemia and Neuroblastoma. Despite that, her positivity and energy was immense touching the lives of numerous cancer patients and their families around the world.

Talia was a Youtuber, a makeup artist and an honorary Cover Girl. In her Youtube channel, she did makeup tutorials while sharing her battle with cancer. Her cancer turned out to be a gift for her and she used this gift to enlighten the lives of other people with cancer. Her approach had a phenomenal impact.

When she lost her hair through chemotherapy, she rejected the wigs: they made her feel fake and unlike herself. During this time, she learned to do makeup. She said, “When I put on my make-up I feel like I can embrace those features that I really like about myself. I feel if someone’s looking at me, they’re looking at my makeup, not looking at my bald head. I am just trying to make young girls, young adults, adults, anyone, feel beautiful by using makeup.” Talia completely changed the perspective of having cancer: She taught people that the real beauty is not about how you look on the outside but it’s about how kind you are from inside.

After a long battle with cancer, she died on July 16, 2013.  After her death, her father, Marc Winthrop, sought to fulfill her dream of finding the cure to neuroblastoma and later co-founded a charity, Band of Parents, which supports neuroblastoma research at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.

There is a famous quote, “It’s not what you get, it’s what you do with it,” Talia exemplified this idea. She dedicated her short life to creating positivity and hope about cancer. In her own words, “I’ve gotten so many benefits from [cancer]. Having a YouTube channel, having to inspire people and having people look up to me… I adore, I love makeup, using it as my wig… it’s amazing… the journey of having cancer was amazing. But every journey has an end. Having cancer has been a gift, but it’s a horrible, horrible thing.”

Talia’s Youtube makeup tutorials are a wonderful guide for all those people who love doing makeup. The way Talia uses bold colours and then blends them portrays her personality. Through her Youtube videos, Talia will always remain among us. A little girl with a big dream. Talia Castellano is truly larger than life.

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