Teen with cancer fulfils fashion designer dreams
13-year-old Talia Joy Catellano has been living with terminal cancer since she was 7 and has since accomplished her dream of becoming a CoverGirl and a YouTube sensation. We find out what she has recently ticked off her to-do-list.
At a tender age, Talia Castellano has already achieved what many others would spend their entire lives pursuing. The young teen started giving make-up tutorials on her online YouTube channel and her impressive skills got her on a bigger screen for an interview with talk show host Ellen Degeneres.
Following that, the ambitious teen went on to become an honorary CoverGirl and her front page photo went viral online. If you think that being diagnosed with stage four neuroblastoma cancer when she was just seven years old could stop her, you’re wrong. The girl is now on her way to launching her own fashion line with Los Angeles-based designer, Urbana Chappa.
Neuroblastoma cancer struck Talia in 2007 when she was only seven, a condition where a tumour develops from a nerve tissue in infants and children. After a series of chemotherapy and treatments, Talia went into remission for a year before cancer hit her again in 2008.
The next few years were ridden with ills as the cancer repeatedly returned to different parts of her body and she revealed last year that she was suffering from both cancer and leukaemia. Doctors recommended a bone marrow transplant but the brave young lady decided otherwise. Living her life to the fullest now, Talia chose to enjoy her remaining days as best as she can.
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After seeing Talia on The Ellen Degeneres Show, Maison De Urbana owner and designer, Urbana Chappa, was inspired to work with the talented little girl. Having overcome breast cancer herself years ago, Ms Chappa wanted to keep Talia’s legacy alive and help the teen fulfil her dreams.
Meeting up earlier this month, the pair talked, sketched and worked on their brand new line. Despite being in the hospital, Talia was full of life and made the best of their time together. The new apparel label, “That Bald Chick”, will be launched in a few weeks and proceeds from it will fund Talia’s surging medical bills.
One would do a double take if we encountered Talia in person or even just watched her YouTube videos. The bright-eyed and enthusiastic youngster shows no sign of the fatigue or pain that the cancer burdens her with, but instead is full of energy and life. Although she seems like an ordinary teenager, Talia feels like someone more, with her vibrant personality and cheerful disposition.
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It pains many that the young girl has to go through ills like this but Talia believes that her cancer has given her many opportunities. As she commented in one of her online video logs, “The journey of cancer has been amazing. But every journey has an end”. Doctors estimated that Talia has about 4 to 12 months left to live.
Heart-wrenching and poignant, Talia’s story breaks the hearts of many the same time that her strength inspires the human spirit. As we realise the fragility of life and how delicate it is, perhaps it could remind us to take a step back from the fast-paced world to appreciate our loved ones and treasure every moment that we have been gifted with.
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