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Honorary CoverGirl Talia Castellano Dies at 13
“It is with a heavy heart that we share with all of you that Talia has earned her wings at 11:22am,” her official Facebook page announced this morning. “Please lift her beautiful soul, her beautiful light to heaven and please send your love and prayers to her family during this most difficult time.”
The spunky teen gained attention after her YouTube makeup tutorials drew more than 40 million views. With her funny, candid personality and determination in the face of a grim cancer diagnosis, her vlogs quickly became about much more than just makeup.
RELATED: Watch more of her inspirational videos here
“I’ve always been a really bubbly girl, and my mom always tells me to think about the positive,” she told PEOPLE in 2012. “Even though cancer is a negative, horrible thing, there are positives. For people to see that there are kids that get cancer… it’s just a true fact. Me putting a face on it makes a difference.”
The fashion-obsessed Florida girl drew fans around the world, including talk show host Ellen DeGeneres. Last September Talia appeared on Ellen, where the host welcomed her to the CoverGirl family.
“How do you stay so positive?” DeGeneres asked Talia, whose cancer treatment options, including a bone marrow transplant, were then running low.
“When people ask me that, I’m just, ‘What do you want me to do? Be depressed?” said Talia, whose motto was that of Finding Nemo‘s Dory, voiced by DeGeneres in the film: “Just keep swimming.”
After a relapse, Talia had been hospitalized for most of the past six months. In recent weeks, fans had begun flooding social media with photos of themselves checking off items from her “To Do” list in her honor and sharing them with the hashtag #taliasbucketlist.
DeGeneres added her voice to the thousands of others expressing their condolences. “This year I met a very special girl, and today we lost her,” she tweeted. “Sending my heart to Talia’s family. I’m so sad.”
Watch Talia’s CoverGirl makeup tutorial here: