When the chips are down, you can either run from it or fight it. 12 year old Talia Joy Castellano suffers from two types of aggressive cancer but decided early on that she was going to fight it with her wit, exuberance and honesty.
Bald for years from multiple chemotherapy sessions for her neuroblastoma (diagnosed on Valentine’s Day 2007) and recently preleukemia, the aspiring makeup artist likes to use “makeup as my wig”.
It is her way to feel confident and beautiful, to experiment with new looks in fun and creative ways and she wants to share that with as many people as possible, especially those in the same shoes.
“According to Florida’s Blood Centers in Orlando, Talia recently helped MAC Cosmetics and BASE Camp, a foundation for kids with cancer, to host the “Glam Wars”— which gave beauty makeovers for girls with cancer.
“What I felt lying in bed that night was … passionate, grateful and accomplished. I felt good. I felt good to know that I made seven other young girls going through what I was going through feel amazing,” Talia told Florida’s Blood Centers.”
“Having cancer has been a gift yet a horrible, horrible, terrifying thing. But I’ve gotten so many benefits from it…
Having a Youtube channel and having to inspire people and having people look up to me and explaining to you guys how I love and adore makeup, using it as my wig and having so much self-confidence to go out to the grocery store without a wig… it’s just amazing.”
With more than 150 videos on her channel in Youtube, Talia is philosophical about how long she can post videos. Doctors have given her anywhere between 4 months to a year to live, and with the recent discovery of preleukemia in her bone marrow, the outlook is not good.
“But as Talia says in her August 2 video, entitled “Vlog-Bad News…“, “This [Youtube] channel is not strictly a beauty channel. It’s whatever I want.” She adds, “When you guys see my beauty videos, you guys don’t really know what’s going on in my cancer world.” So in “Vlog-Bad News…” and another video from August 7, Talia gets real about “her cancer world”: her two cancers, a rare combination, are life-threatening and leave few options left. A bone marrow transplant, one of the last possible treatments, would be Talia’s most harrowing procedure yet. “Right now,” Talia tells her followers, “I’m leaning towards not doing it.””
If you need any convincing to donate blood so that you can help people like Talia, then watch this: