Monday Meeting — Remembering Talia Joy Castellano

Talia Joy Castellano was beautiful.

An Honorary CoverGirl beautiful.

When she was 7 years old, Talia was diagnosed with Stage 4 Neuroblastoma. She died on July 16th, 2013. She was 13 years old.

On her Facebook profile, she wrote: wig

“I’m Talia, I’m 13 years old and I love makeup. “Make-up is My Wig” I like to say.
 You can prob see I’m bald- I have cancer. (neuroblastoma)& leukemia)
I don’t like wearing wigs so I wear makeup to feel good and pretty inside –
and I guess outside. LOL!” 

She absolutely loved make-up. Her You Tube channel, taliajoy18, included make-up tutorials about how to effectively use eyeliner and matte bronzer, the difference between make-up for days and make-up for evenings, the latest in lipstick shades, along with hundreds of other tips. It also included updates and personal videos about her cancer treatments.

Taliajoy18 had over 750,000 subscribers.

In August, 2012, Talia commented on her notoriety:

“You Tube, and all the support that I get from everyone
telling me that I’m inspiring and not to give up,
it really makes you stop and think about how many people there are
that love you…You’re not there alone.”

In September, 2012, Ellen DeGeneres invited Talia to appear on her TV show and revealed that CoverGirl had named Talia an Honorary CoverGirl.

cover girl

At Thanksgiving, her Facebook listed the “little things” Talia was grateful for – like “how stinking cute her pooch looks in her sweaters, the smell of her mom’s corn casserole, having campfires in her back yard with her family when the sun goes down, just being in the same room as her big sister, the little hugs of encouragement from a friend…”

Five days before she died, Talia posted 76 “Things I Wanna Do Before I Die.”





She actually got to a few.

"Help a newbie with cancer."

No. 60 – Help a newbie with cancer.

She asked her Facebook fans to head out to do some of the things for her, in case she didn’t get a chance to perform all 76 wishes. To this day, her fans are still keeping Talia’s dreams alive by completing her bucket list, then posting their shots on Facebook.

water balloon fight

No. 10: Water balloon fight.

No. 3: Dance in the rain.

No. 3: Dance in the rain.

In her final days, Talia was still her brave, sweet self. Her family shared this moment:

“Talia woke up again and asked for more to drink.
Her family and friends in the room started showing her the packages and fan mail again.
After a few minutes, Talia paused.
She looked around the room and said ‘I could cry right now…’
Her Mom got up real close to her and said ‘What’s wrong baby?.. Don’t cry..’
And Talia said ‘I’m just so grateful… I’m so grateful for you guys…’
Her family said that ‘This all melted our hearts.’”

In a video interview with The Truth 365, Talia shared this:

“In a hundred years, I would like to be remembered
as the bubbly girl who wanted to do something
about childhood cancer.”

On July 16th, her family posted this tweet: “It is with a heavy heart that we share with all of you that Talia has earned her wings at 11:22am,” which continued on Facebook:

“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.”

Talia Joy Castellano was beautiful.

An Honorary CoverGirl beautiful.

But even more beautiful was her bubbly outlook, her courage and determination in the face of her cancer. Her wanting to reach out to others by educating them about make-up, childhood cancer, and being a teen-ager. Her continuing to offer hope and inspiration by jotting down and sharing her own bucket list of 76 dreams just 5 days before she died.

Her smile was huge, her heart even bigger. And her soul – her soul limitless. And eternal.

Talia Joy Castellano lives on in her “Angels for Talia” site on Facebook. In every person who carries out one of her 76 “Things I Wanna Do Before I Die” in her memory. In every person who reads about her, watches her You Tube videos, or smiles when they see her picture.

Talia’s No. 41 on her list is simple: Be loved.

One more to be crossed off your bucket list, Talia. Most certainly, you are, and always will be, loved.

Thank you for inspiring those of us left behind.

Your spirit shimmers and dances with light.

You are precious.

You are beautiful.

You are loved.


related post: My Last Days: Meet Zach Sobiech


Monday Meeting — “My Last Days: Meet Zach Sobiech”

Zach Sobiech died on Monday, May 20th, 2013. He was 18 years old.

When he was 14 years old, he was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer found in children. Zach endured months of chemotherapy and had several surgeries. In May, 2012, more cancer was found in his lungs and pelvis. Rather than have surgery to remove his leg and part of his pelvis, Zach and his parents decided to enjoy the 6 – 12 months he had left.

So, Zach decided to write songs. His song “Clouds,” which you can see below on YouTube, has had more than 4 million views.

“My closure is being able to get my feelings into these songs so they (family & friends) can have something to remember me by or lean on when I’m gone.”

“You don’t have to find out you’re dying to start living…” ~ Zach Sobiech

Zach got to drive his dream car for a week, courtesy of his parents. His girlfriend Amy (“I love her to death; I will love her to my death.”) stayed by his side, as did his close-knit family and school friends.

He inspired so many people that Rainn Wilson of YouTube’s SoulPancake channel made a 22-minute documentary called “My Last Days: Meet Zach Sobiech,” which you can watch below in its entirety.

Have a box of tissues close at hand.

But don’t have them because of Zach’s death this week; rather, have them handy because of Zach’s life. His wisdom is more than most 50-year olds, and his heart is bigger than most, too.

After I watched the documentary, I felt stronger and blessed for having met him, my tears more happy than sad. And I wasn’t able to stop my smile in the midst of my tears, just for having met such an amazing human being.

Zach – My life is richer for having listened to “Clouds” and having watched 22 minutes about your 18 year life.

Eternal rest, Zach Sobiech, and may perpetual light shine upon you.

Your soul dazzles and shines with your light.

You are beautiful. You will be remembered.

My thanks…