Talia Castellano: YouTube star, Ellen guest passes; devoted fans pay tribute to teen

Reported by: Maxim Alter, WCPO Digital, Jenny Bak, WCPO Community Manager

As her illness grew worse, 13-year-old Talia Joy Castellano decided it was time to write a bucket list.

She posted the 74-item list on her Facebook page, and planned to complete it while she battled neuroblastoma and leukemia.

But five days later, on July 16, she passed away.

Luckily, Castellano collected thousands of fans with her glowing personality and YouTube beauty tutorials, all while she fought her illness for six years.

In an outpouring of love, her supporters are now paying her tribute and checking items she never got a chance to fulfill off of her bucket list.

Her hand-written list included:

  • Write a letter to your crush.
  • Get a tattoo.
  • Send a message in a bottle.
  • Cover a car in sticky notes.
  • Go to a drive-in movie.

Using the hashtag #taliasbucketlist , Talia's family is posting hundreds of photos of completed bucket list items from fans who are carrying out her dreams, Yahoo reports.

Diagnosed with neuroblastoma at the age of seven, followed by pre-leukemia, Talia didn't let grim prognoses from the doctors dull her shine. With a radiant smile and a warm personality, she captured the hearts of people everywhere and saw a lifelong dream fulfilled when she appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres show in September 2012.

Ellen, a CoverGirl spokesmodel, surprised Talia with the news that CoverGirl had decided to make the cancer-stricken girl an honorary "CoverGirl" and presented her a check for $20,000.


When Talia's health took a turn for the worse, her family and friends kept fans updated on her condition through social media. Talia posted occasional "vlog" updates from the hospital, and a family friend started a Facebook page to share news and photos of the brave girl.

The world learned of her passing on July 16, and outpouring of grief from DeGeneres, CoverGirl and Talia's fans flooded social media.

"You are a beautiful, beautiful person, and I'm so happy that I met you," Ellen told Talia on her show – and millions of fans who had the opportunity to get to know Talia through her online craft feel the exact same way.

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