“Talia Joy Castellano, a bubbly cancer patient who became an honorary CoverGirl with the help of Ellen DeGeneres, has died. She was 13,” reports Nardine Saad at the Los Angeles Times’ Ministry of Gossip website.
The Orlando, Fla., teenager became a YouTube sensation with her motivational makeup tutorial videos, which captured the attention of the TV host. Talia died Tuesday at Arnold Palmer Hospital, with the announcement coming from her official Facebook fan page.
Castellano had been fighting cancer since 2007, when she was 7 years old. Says the story, “[D]uring her bouts with the disease, after she lost her hair, the affectionately called ‘professional, YouTube Makeup Guru’ refused to don a wig. Instead, she chose to boost her self-confidence by experimenting with makeup at the behest of one of her mom’s friends, who also battled cancer. Castellano then started taping herself giving makeup tutorials and posted the videos on YouTube. One clip reached more than 8 million views, and numerous videos earned more than 500,000.”
The article adds, “One of her dreams was to meet DeGeneres and do her makeup. In September 2012, the Emmy-winning comedienne granted the teary-eyed teen her wish…”
The story says, “When DeGeneres asked Castellano how she stayed positive in the face of cancer, the young girl gave a bubbly reply: ‘When people ask me that, I’m [like], what do you want me to do, be depressed?’ she said. ‘A little fishy told me, “Just keep swimming, just keep swimming,” ‘ referring to the catch phrase of DeGeneres’ … inspiring fish Dory from the Disney-Pixar film ‘Finding Nemo.’ ” That exchange is in the second video, below.
Here is Castellano’s appearance on the “Ellen” show last year, during the show’s premiere week in September. This first video is part one of the appearance, and the second one is part two.