Life-Affirming Story of Talia Joy Castellano: A 12-Year-Old Cancer Fighting YouTube Superstar

Updated on July, 16, 2013
It is with a heavy heart that we share with all of you that Talia has earned her wings at 11:22am. Please lift her beautiful soul, her beautiful light to heaven and please send your love and prayers to her family during this most difficult time. God speed little one, may you be free from pain and suffering, may your soul feel the light and love that you brought to so many of us on this Earth during the short time you were her with us. We will miss you more than you will ever know baby girl:

“Life is an opportunity, benefit from it. Life is beauty, admire it. Life is a dream, realize it. Life is a challenge, meet it. Life is a duty, complete it. Life is a game, play it. Life is a promise, fulfill it. Life is sorrow, overcome it. Life is a song, sing it. Life is a struggle, accept it. Life is a tragedy, confront it. Life is an adventure, dare it. Life is luck, make it. Life is too precious, do not destroy it. Life is life, fight for it.” ― Mother Teresa.

We all have read this wise quote, but how many of us have truly grasped the beauty of life? Most certainly not many. We might feel enlightened while reading such quotes, but the sense of enlightenment dims when it comes to applying it in our day-to-day life challenges.

The days of our lives are numbered; the journey is bound to end somewhere and the world will keep on turning without us. Then why not live this very life the fullest? Let’s experiment with the things we’ve been passionate about while stumbling upon a variety of experiences, tasting every flavor of life on its arrival.
Some of us live as if we are trapped in a perpetual journey, collapse in front of insignificant difficulties, and keep complaining for no reason; whereas, a very few learn to live as the master of destiny. They ensure they live a meaningful life and feel grateful to have been blessed with a nice interval between the life and death in the most magnificent wonderland of the world. Talia Joy Castellano is one of such brave examples.

Talia Joy Castellano is a 12 year old girl (turning 13 on 18th August this month) who was diagnosed with an aggressive and incurable form of cancer, that forms in the nerve cells called neuroblastoma, in 2007 after which she has been through several rounds of chemotherapy that eventually left her bald. Besides chemo, she has already been through numerous surgeries, radiation, and a stem cell transplant. She has been suffering for five long years.
About a year and a half ago, she began a video blog channel ‘taliajoy18’ giving makeup and lifestyle tips and till date she has already uploaded 148 videos and attracted 122,000 subscribers. In her latest video update “idk what to say” she has confirmed that her body was now carrying two types of cancers at the same time, neuroblastoma and leukemia that destroy the bone marrow.

While sharing her experience of living with excruciatingly painful cancer, she seems to be tremendously poised, wise and calm. She is encouraging people through her poignant intellectual words, elegance and wisdom when she needs them most. In her words:

“Having cancer has been a gift–but a horrible, horrible’ terrifying thing…but I’ve gotten so many benefits from it…could go out to the grocery store without a wig.” She wears make-ups to enhance her self-confidence and inspire her video fans. She doesn’t shed tears, doesn’t want to waste remaining time in her hand, she tenderly says “The journey of having cancer was amazing. But, every journey has an end.”

Quoted from: taliajoy18

What I have learnt from this Little Angel

1. Don’t get bothered of what people say or think about you. It’s your life; live it the way you want. What matters is what you think of yourself; you are already beautiful in what you are. If one can’t see it, it’s his or her fault. I was so touched by her wise words:

“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.”

2. Attitude matters. While we can’t stand some insignificant losses, just think what she’s been through – she has been facing the worst. She could have been broken with the upsetting news but it is her choice and attitude to judge the death wisely and keep the miseries of life away and enjoy the beauty of life that still remains as hers.

3. Defeat all difficulties with you never-give-up attitude and courage. Give them a damn, and see how small they become to your determination, courage and bravery. It seems the extreme pain of cancer couldn’t break Talia’s spirit, could not snatch her happiness that she is stealing from remaining life.

4. Create value. Despite her painful journey with cancer, she is not crumbled or broken; rather, she is getting stronger than ever. She is creating the value, discovering her talents and gifts, encouraging others with her actions and benefiting others through her make-up and lifestyle videos.

5. Fear is one thing but allowing it to overtake your courage and cut your spirit is another thing. Talia also fears death and that is clear when she expresses, “This is not fair to me anymore…it’s really not fair for kids to have cancer. It really frickin sucks” but she has never let her fear win over her, she has never trembled while giving the horrible news updates of her cancer, and she has never stopped smiling in her video.

“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” ― Nelson Mandela