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Frisky Q&A: Teen Designer Talia Castellano Is Fighting Cancer With Fashion

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Tania Castellano was seven-years-old when she was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma, an aggressive cancer of the nervous system. Despite the diagnosis — and the harrowing treatments — Talia pressed on with the business of living. Instead of wallowing in self-pity, Talia reveled in her favorite activity — playing with makeup — and created a thriving YouTube presence with more than half a million subscribers. Her channel, Makeup Is My Wig, features hundreds of videos. There are videos of her happily chatting to the camera, (seriously really good!) makeup tutorials, and reviews of her favorite new shopping purchases, or hauls. Basically you could spend, like, a thousand hours watching Talia’s videos and never get sick of them. She’s smart, funny, approachable and really, really cute.

Earlier this year, after multiple rounds of treatment, Talia found out that the cancer had spread all over her body. Now 13, she knows she doesn’t have much more time, but has a few things she’d still like to accomplish. On the top of that list? Becoming a fashion designer — even if she’s designing from a hospital bed. And that’s where fashionista Urbana Chappa — herself a cancer survivor — stepped in. She’s collaborating with Talia on a new fashion collection called That Bald Chick, which reflect Talia’s upbeat personality and spunky style. Plus! All proceeds from the collection’s sale will go to Talia’s family, who are facing sky high medical bills.

For her part, Talia has a very Zen approach to her cancer. “I’ve gotten so many benefits from [cancer],” she said in one of her videos. “Having a YouTube channel, having to inspire people and having people look up to me … the journey of having cancer was amazing. But every journey has an end.”

After the jump, The Frisky speaks with both Talia and Urbana about their collaboration, and how fashion keeps Talia’s spirits up. Keep reading »

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