YouTube star loses cancer battle

Los Angeles - Talia Joy Castellano, a teenage cancer patient who became an Internet sensation with her YouTube make-up tutorials, died on Tuesday after a six-year battle with the disease, reports said. She was 13.

She died at Arnold Palmer Hospital in Orlando, Florida, the Los Angeles Times said.

Her death was announced on her Facebook page, the Huffington Post said.

She was diagnosed with Stage 4 neuroblastoma, an aggressive cancer, when she was seven, the Times said. Last year, the cancer spread to her bones, and she developed pre-leukaemia.

Although she lost her hair, she did not wear a wig. Instead, she tried make-up at the behest of her mother's friend, another cancer patient.

Castellano began making and uploading videos of make-up tutorials on Crazy Eyeliner, Punk Rock Look, Aqua Brown Smokey Eye, Ancient Chinese Make-up and so on.

Her YouTube channel, taliajoy18, has more than 800,000 subscribers. One of her videos has been viewed more than eight million times.

Her profile photo shows her with "Make up is my Wig" written in pink on her head.

One of her dreams was to meet Ellen DeGeneres and do her make-up, the Times said.

Last year, the television host invited her to her show and said she had been chosen to be an honorary CoverGirl.

"I'm a CoverGirl," DeGeneres said. "And CoverGirl heard your story and they want to make you an honorary CoverGirl. And they also want to give you something."

A huge portrait of Castellano posing for the make-up brand was revealed, in addition to a US$20,000 (S$25,300) cheque, the newspaper said.

Last year, when she was diagnosed with pre-leukaemia, she uploaded a video saying she would die within the year.

"This is not fair to me anymore. I'm only 13. I shouldn't really have to be doing this. No one should have to do this, not even adults."

She said she had decided not to pursue further treatment as having cancer was a "horrible, horrible terrifying thing", despite the benefits she derived from it, such as inspiring people with her make-up tutorials.

In an interview last year with The Truth 365, a social media campaign for children fighting cancer, she said: "In a hundred years, I would like to be remembered as the bubbly girl who wanted to do something about childhood cancer."

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