by Doyin Jaiyesimi
With bright eyes, lashes primed to perfection and face glowing with radiant hues…the only indication that Talia Castellano may be suffering from cancer is her lack of hair.
Currently battling two forms of cancer at once, Talia has chosen to use makeup to brighten her world. She posts videos her Youtube age, teaching over 130, 000 subscribers how to get a perfectly made up face in the comfort their homes. At 12, she is already a professional at makeup application. “I put on this makeup to feel better about myself, and every time I put it on, I don’t need a wig,” Talia explains. She’s convinced that people aren’t looking at her because she’s bald. Instead, they are looking at her beautiful face.
When she started her Youtube videos, all Talia wanted to do was talk about cancer. It took off from there after her first video. Creating the Youtube videos are a great distraction for Talia. “Sometimes when I’m just not feeling good, I’ll sit down and do a makeup video,” she says. “Once I start talking in front of the camera, everything just leaves my mind. It feels like I’m talking to the world.”
Talia’s first diagnosis, stage 4 neuroblastoma, was given in February 2007. She was cancer-free for 13 months, but relapsed three times between September 2008 and April 2011. On August 6th 2012, Talia received sad news that her cancer has spread to her bones. She had developed pre-leukemia; a shock to her mother Desiree. “I knew that there was a possibility of pre-leukemia down the road, but I never, ever thought that she could get it at the same time as neuroblastoma,” Desiree says. “The doctors down here had seen it once, and other doctors have never seen it happen. So being told that she had pre-leukemia was like getting hit as hard as the first time they told me she had cancer.”
Although Talia’ s options remain few she’s living her life to the fullest; a life which she has been told may be over between a few months and a year. In the meantime, Talia will continue posting her videos. She will also attend school whenever she can and being a huge fan of the Ellen DeGeneres show, she hopes to be able to get on the show one day.
“I didn’t realize that I could do what I’m doing now, and what it would become,” Talia says of her videos. “I wasn’t expecting anything. But it makes me feel better to know people watch me, care about me and think I’m inspiring.”
While Talia’s whole family has undergone bone marrow testing, and are still exploring other options, Desiree still believes in miracles and implores everyone to pray for her.
Watch Talia’s make up video here