If you want to cry and appreciate life all at once, make your way over to 12-year-old Talia Joy Castellano’s YouTube channel. The pre-teen, who has been posting makeup tutorials on YouTube since 2007, recently posted something much more serious than she usually does: A startlingly candid declaration that her life will soon come to an end.
‘Basically right now I have two types of cancers in my body. The preleukemia is not fully developed, but it’s preleukemia which means eventually it will be leukemia. There’s nothing really out there that treats both types of cancers. They’re both very very serious and very very aggressive cancers and they spread very quickly and they’re both very deadly.’
She goes on to say that her next option is a bone marrow transplant’a painful procedure that she doesn’t want to go through, given the number of treatments and surgeries she’s already had in her short life.
‘Since I’m almost 13, they’re giving me a lot of input on it. I’m going to decide whether or not I want to do the bone marrow transplant, or whether or not I just want to not do it and just live the time that I have remaining.’
But, she says, she is likely leaning towards not doing the surgery.
‘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.’
Though Talia says there are no options left for treatment and writes that she has ‘a couple months to up to a year left of precious life’ she doesn’t shed a tear. Instead, she thanks all her YouTube admirers, asks them to understand her decision and promises that she’s going to continue doing videos as long as she can.
Talia’s wiser-than-her-years declaration is not only inspiring; it also serves as a reminder to follow your dreams while you can. Because, as Talia says, ‘Every journey has to come to an end.’
-Katharine Watts, Associate Web Editor