(NEW YORK) — A 13-year-old cancer patient is captivating hundreds of thousands with video blogs that are as inspiring as they are heartbreaking.
Talia Joy Castellano has been battling cancer since 2007 and her YouTube page contains over 150 uploads, comprised largely of the makeup tutorials that are her passion, as well as videos for cancer-related causes. Yet her most recent video blog, is drawing attention for its heartbreaking frankness and a maturity well beyond her years.
“I have two cancers in my body at once,” Talia says. “Well preleukemia which is a start of leukemia in my bone marrow. There are not really any treatments for it. It is very rare to have neuroblastoma and leukemia at the same time.”
Neuroblastoma, a cancer usually originating in the adrenal glands and developing from nerve tissue is the most common type of cancer in infants, but can also rarely occur in older children. Leukemia is a cancer of the blood or bone marrow and causes almost one-third of all cancer deaths in children and adolescents younger than 15 years.
“Basically there aren’t a lot options for treatment anymore,” Talia tells her viewers in the video. “The docs gave me to option of doing treatment or don’t do the treatment and just live life for the time remaining. Having cancer has been an amazing yet horrible journey, yet every journey has an end.”
Talia says that according to doctors without treatment she has a couple months to up to a year left to live. She is considering a bone marrow transplant though the procedure would be very tough on her body because of the multiple previous surgeries she has endured.
“I’m going to decide on whether or not I want to do the bone marrow transplant, or whether or not I just don’t do it and live the time I have remaining,” said Talia. “This isn’t fair to me anymore, I’m only 13. I shouldn’t have to be doing this.”
Viewers have flooded the video’s comments section with words of praise and encouragement.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Jamiel Lynch and Debra Goldschmidt, CNN
Josh Friesen, Idaho State Journal
Susan Scutti, CNN