RIP Talia Castellano.
The adorable 13-year-old girl who gained thousands of followers and admirers with her YouTube makeup tutorials died on Tuesday after battling cancer for almost half her life.
Castellano had neuroblastoma, a nervous system cancer that is common in childhood, and is one of the most frequent causes of childhood cancer death. It causes tumours in the spinal cord, abdomen, chest and adrenal glands.
Ellen Degeneres invited Castellano on to her show last year after noticing her impressive YouTube following. On the show, Castellano was made an honorary CoverGirl and presented with a makeup table, products, and a cheque for $20,000.
Castellano lived in Florida with her mother and sister and was a positive presence online, always excited and smiling at the camera.
Her big sister, Mattia, posted a video on Castellano’s YouTube channel yesterday to talk about her sister.
Through tears, she said her little sister’s name will live on and her goals will still be pursued. “I’m really sad and it doesn’t feel real but I know she’s right by my side all the time,” she said.
There has been an outpouring of grief for the family, and positive words about Talia.
Ryan Seacrest posted a photo on Instagram of him with Talia, writing “I only met you once, but your memory is strong and your light will shine on.”
Degeneres posted a photo of Castellano on her Facebook page, with “Thinking of my friend” written beside the image.
A Facebook page called Angels for Talia which has been updated throughout her illness has over 497,000 likes, and tributes to the young girl.
One fan wrote a post on the page that garnered more than 1,500 likes. “I have to keep reminding myself that I didn’t personally know her when I find myself getting upset about her passing, but how can you not? I fell absolutely in love with this beautiful little stranger. I’m still so sad.”