Talia Joy Castellano was a 12-year-old adorable cancer patient last year when she came out with a frank and heartbreaking video – which eventually became a YouTube hit – predicting she would die within a year.
On Tuesday, her prophesy came true.
The vivacious girl became a YouTube sensation after her videos chronicling her five-year journey with the terminal illness inspired thousands.
"Basically, I have two types of cancer in my body," Talia Joy Castellano said directly into her laptop camera in one video. "They are both very, very serious, and very, very, aggressive cancers and they spread very quickly and they are both very, very deadly."
Having cancer has been an amazing yet horrible journey but every journey has an end.
- Talia Joy Castellano, 12-Year-Old Cancer Patient
Her Facebook page announced that she succumbed to the illness at 11:22 a.m. Tuesday.
“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 [here] with us,” the Facebook post said. “We will miss you more than you will ever know baby girl.”
Castellano, who lived in Florida, spoke frankly and maturely in her video blogs, which attracted millions of viewers.
It also attracted the attention of talk show host Ellen Degeneres, who had the young girl on her show and called her an “honorary cover girl.”
Castellano had relapsed multiple times in her fight against neuroblastoma, a rare childhood cancer, and also battled pre-leukemia in her bone marrow. It’s extremely rare to have both of these cancers at the same time.
Her doctors had said the chances of her survival were “very, very low.”
“Having cancer has been an amazing yet horrible journey but every journey has an end,” she said on her video journey.
Castellano was diagnosed with neuroblastoma in 2007. She uploaded hundreds of videos on her YouTube channel, talking about a range of topics from how to cope with cancer, to makeup fashion tips for middle schoolers.
Her videos were eloquent and funny, captivating many with her courage and everyday stories.
Castellano talked about how distraught she was when she first learned she would lose her hair, her disdain for wigs, and how she has come to accept her bald look.
She said she didn’t want to scare people by announcing her impending death – but wanted to raise awareness about what it was like dealing with cancer.
"Don't freak out,” she said in her latest post. “It's not like it's going to be tomorrow. Nothing is for sure... we still don't know if there are any other options."