August 18, 2018
To my beloved sister Talia Joy,
I think about you every day and I miss you more and more as time goes on. Your sisterly advice still stays on my mind, thinking about your laugh makes me laugh, listening to your voice on your YouTube videos still makes me smile, but most importantly, having you as my sister is–and will forever be–my best and most treasured privilege of my life.
Life is no longer about structure and discipline like so many other people live their lives. Life to me means so much more because losing you made me realize that life is truly too short. You taught me to not be depressed in the worst of situations, to just keep swimming, live out my dreams, and never give up.
Talia, you have not only impacted my life in the most amazing way, but you have impacted and touched millions of lives around the world. Momma and I still get messages every day from people saying how you have changed their life and inspired them. You taught people no matter what they are going through, that you can fight through it with a smile on your face.
You had two types of cancer and still managed to make videos on YouTube with a smile on your face and the most upbeat attitude. That right there is what has inspired so many people from all over the world who are fighting their own battles.
Sisterhood is the relationship between sisters and the feeling of kinship with and closeness to a group of women or all women. I remember when I was 6 years old, Momma told me I was going to be a big sister! I was so excited to have a baby sister. Momma put me in big sister classes where I learned how to feed a newborn baby, how to change diapers, and all the other fun stuff involved with taking care of a baby. When you were born, my life was forever changed for the better. Your sisterhood meant the world to me because it wasn’t just me anymore—it was me and you, sisters forever. Our sisterly bond is still strong to this day. You knew me better than I sometimes knew myself. When I was down on myself, you always knew how to pick me back up. When I was making a bad decision, you were always there to guide me and give me the best advice. I actually think you helped me more than I was capable of helping you.
Missing you will never stop and either will the pain. I miss your laugh, smile, advice, down-for-anything attitude, bluntness, sense of humor, and most importantly, I miss having you physically here with me every day to live life with.
You would have been 19 years old today. We always said we would go out together when you turned 18, and now you’d be 19 and almost out of your teen years! Momma and I always talk about what you would be like if you were still here. We said you would be in Los Angeles with a huge makeup career and your own makeup line. Oh, and of course you would be one of the biggest makeup gurus on social media. If you were here with us today, I would tell you how proud I am of your accomplishments and how blessed I am to have you in my life.
Everything you started for childhood cancer awareness, Momma and I are continuing on for you. We both started our nonprofit, Talia’s Legacy Children’s Cancer Foundation in 2015. Momma Joy is the President and I am the Vice President. Together we have continued on with the Glam WARS program that you started! So far, we have visited over 15 children’s hospitals in the United States and have given the girls and boys makeup bags filled with makeup and personalized makeovers to boost their spirits! To this date, we have donated thousands of dollars that we have raised to the most promising clinical trials and research for childhood cancer.
You left us a legacy and that is what we promised you we would continue for you, sissy.
Your legacy and impact on the world will forever be remembered. Talia, you have raised an abundance amount of awareness for childhood cancer. Childhood cancer is no longer thought of as “rare.” It is the number one cause of death in children. Your YouTube videos about childhood cancer and Instagram posts have made people aware that children die every day and unfortunately you were one of them, taken too soon.
Your bright light of sunshine, bubbly personality, and will power to keep fighting or as you would say, just keep swimming, has empowered people of all ages, races, religions, and socioeconomics statuses to never give up! That will be engraved in people’s hearts forever.
I am proud and honored to be your big sister. No matter where we are, you are always in my heart and on my mind. I’ll see you soon. I love you always and forever, sister.
Talia Castellano battled neuroblastoma and pre-leukemia for six and a half years before she passed away in 2013 when she 13 years old. Known for her YouTube channel and her popular makeup tutorials, she was also a face for CoverGirl cosmetics.
Talia’s Legacy accepts donations for the most promising clinical trials and research at the leading hospitals in the United States. Donations are also accepted for their Glam WARS program. Visit taliaslegacy.org for more information and to donate.
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