Tag Archives: cancer

Monday Memos: Clare Bowen…actress, singer, social activist

Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘Monday Memos’ we are going to talk about an inspiring story that I know you have all heard clare bowenabout. A few days ago ‘Nashville; star Clare Bowen wrote a Facebook post where she explained why she recently cut her hair. Now most people might think why should I care if an actress cuts her hair? Well just stay with me here because you HAVE to hear this story. Ready? Ok, let’s go!!!


She went on to explain that the reasoning behind this change was due to a story she heard about a little girl who said that she couldn’t be a princess because she didn’t have long hair. Clare went on to explain that she had cancer (specifically end stage nephroblastroma) as a child. She said that she spent a lot of time in the hospital, and met other children like her who had lost their hair and limbs to their diseases. Clare went on to say in her post that she “wanted her [the little girl mentioned above], and others like her, to know that’s not [by this she means having or not having long hair] what makes a princess, or a warrior, or a superhero”. She finished her post by thanking ABC and Nashville creator Callie Khouri for allowing her to change up her character’s look for this important message. In a world where we are constantly bombarded with messages saying that we need to be smarter, thinner, richer, and overall “better”, it’s important to remember that we are all blessed just to be alive. In her post Clare wraps up her message by saying that “Self-esteem takes a lot longer to grow back than hair”. This message is perfectly summarized in the song ‘A Life That’s Good’ from the show Nashville (I know that Clare isn’t featured on the song, but the message in this song really hits you. The song begins 15 second into the video).




  • All photos and information used in this blog belong to usatoday.com, ABC Music Lounge: Nashville, Clare Bowen, Lennon Stella, Callie Khouri, Charles Esten, Dee Johnson, R. J. Cutler, Steve Buchanan, ABC Studios, Lionsgate Television, Opry Entertainment, Cutler Productions, Walk & Chew Gum, Inc., Small Wishes Productions, Disney-ABC Domestic Television, and all other original owners. I do not own anything in this blog. If any people, corporations, businesses, companies, etc, were not previously given credit for their work, they are given credit now and their previous absence was unintentional. All opinions expressed in this blog are my own. I wrote this blog for entertainment purposes and no copyright infringement is intended.

Monday Memos: Lena Strickling…the girl who used her 1 wish to help others

Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘Monday Memos’ we are going to discuss 18 year Lena Strickling, who Lena Strickling's - Make A Wishrecently had a very important interview with the YouTube channel ‘Collectively’ that you NEED to watch. Now before you click away, Lena isn’t a celebrity, model, or internet star. She’s a cancer survivor who recently used her wish from the ‘Make-A-Wish Foundation’, to raise awaness about a topic that A LOT of people face (and no it’s not cancer). I thought that this was such an amazing thing to do (because seriously how many of us would be completely selfish with our wish…exactly basically all of us would). Please read on, because this is a story that we ALL need to hear. Ready? Ok, let’s go!!!


Lena is a recent survivor of Hodgkin’s lymphoma (she has been cancer free since April), and although she’s had to endure 15 rounds of chemotherapy, and is currently going through menopause at the tender age of 18, she used this article to discuss another issue that plagues way too many people. Lena is not only a cancer survivor, but also a survivor of sexual assault. Lena said that she was sexually assaulted by her father for as long as she can remember, and it became a everyday by the time she was 6 years old. This is an unthinkable situation for anyone, let alone a child of just six years old. The legal age of consent in ohio is 16, just like it is in many of the other states too, and if anyone is found to have sex with someone who is younger than 16, you could be considered reckless. As well as this, you will be violating the law in this particular state. Unfortunately, Lena’s emotional and physical trauma didn’t stop there. She said that he would even assault in her public by putting a blanket over her so no one else could see. Lena eventually told a friend what was going on after she took a DARE class at the age of 10, and learned why what was happening to her was wrong, and what it was called. Lena later told her mom through a letter, and her mother called the police who convicted Lena’s father and sentenced him to prison ( where he was diagnosed with schizophrenia with religious delusions). One of the things that I found most heartbreaking about this interview is when Lena says that “Cancer never bothered me at all, versus with sexual abuse it’s like that happened and it’s still haunting me.” (check out Lena’s interview below

Unfortunately Lena isn’t alone, because according to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN), one in five women will be sexually assaulted and 44% of sexual assault and rape victims are under 18. Lena said she wanted to tell her story, so she could help other people suffering from sexual assault, and also to explain why she feels it’s so important to educate kids about sexual consent from a young age. Lena has said that talking about her past has helped her to begin to move on. Lena did have some words of encouragement for sexual abuse victims that I wanted to share with y’all, “everybody has a right to talk about [how] they feel,” “Be proud of yourself, and stand up for yourself and don’t change your story and don’t back down because people don’t believe you. Just keep going. Don’t let anybody knock you down.” It’s just so amazing that someone who has been through so much would use their 1 wish to try to help others, so they don’t have to endure what she did. Truly inspirational!



  • All credit goes to Lena Strickling, Collectively, YouTube, Make-A-Wish Foundation, DARE, the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN), Teen Vogue, all of the businesses, companies, people, and any other original owners involved and/or mentioned in this blog post, and all original owners. I do not own anything in this blog. If any people, corporations, businesses, companies, etc, were not previously given credit for their work, they are given credit now and their previous absence was unintentional. All opinions expressed in this blog are my own. I wrote this blog for entertainment purposes and no copyright infringement is intended.

YouTube Wednesday: Talia Castellano…the guru who showed us all the true meaning of beauty

Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘YouTube Wednesday’ we are going to discuss a very special YouTuber. It has been exactly 1 year since the tragic passing of 13 year old beauty guru Talia Castellano. I personally was a huge fan of Talia’s because she seemed to have a very kind spirit, and a beautiful soul. Despite the fact that she was suffering from a very painful disease, she still produced videos that made her viewers smile. Talia always promoted the powerful message of self-acceptance in her videos, and that is a message that is too often lost in modern society. We spend so much time, effort, and money attempting to achieve a standard of “perfection”, without even realizing what true beauty means. The fact that Talia was able to realize this at such a young age should serve as an inspiration to us all, (because let’s admit it, most people are EXTREMELY insecure at 13). So, please read on to learn all about this amazing young girl, and see what you can do to help her legacy live on.

Talia Joy Castellano was born on August 18th, 1999 in Goldenrod, FL. Talia’s infectious optimism, honesty, and fun-loving attitude quickly helped her become a YouTube celebrity in the beauty community. Along with her beauty videos, Talia was also well known for her vlogs about her battle with cancer. Talia was first diagnosed with cancer at the age of 7 years old, when she was x-rayed and showed unusual anatomical displacements in her chest. She was diagnosed with neuroblastoma (which is a cancer normally found in young children 10 and under, and infants. This type of cancer is divided into 3 levels of severity: low, intermediate, and high risk groups). Talia underwent various types of therapies and treatments, and was said to be cancer free numerous times, however relapsed each time during her 6 year battle. Talia was later diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome (which is a disease that was previously known as pre-leukemia). She quickly began gaining a loyal fanbase on YouTube, and in September 2012 was a special guest on ‘The Ellen DeGeneres Show’ (this is only a portion of Talia’s guest spot on the show, Talia Gets an Amazing Surprise) and was announced as an honorary face for ‘CoverGirl’ cosmetics. Her ‘CoverGirl’ campaigns included the slogans “Makeup is my wig”, and “Just keep swimming”. She also collaborated with the Orlando, FL based organization ‘BASE Camp Children’s Cancer Foundation’, and launched a fundraising campaign called ‘Bring Hope Home’ (which is a program that helps provide support to children battling cancer in the central Florida area and their families). Sadly, Talia passed away in Orlando, Florida, on July 16, 2013 at the ‘Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children’, after spending the last three months of her life hospitalized for palliative care (which is specialized medical care for people with serious illnesses that focuses on providing patients with relief from the symptoms, pain, and stress of a serious illness in order to improve quality of life for both the patient and their family). An announcement was made soon after Talia’s death at 11:22 a.m., on her ‘Angels For Talia’ Facebook page. Some had worried that a nursing home attorney may be needed to step in due to her death, but it was thankfully not the case with her passing, as sad as it still was. At the time of Talia’s death, her channel had more than 750,000 subscribers and 45 million total views. As of July 16, 2014 her channel has 1,358,924 subscribers, and 83,648,296 views.

Talia’s first video was uploaded on August 27th, 2011, and was entitled ‘Crazy Eyeliner’ (you can find the link here Crazy eyeliner). This was a really fun first video because it really showed off Talia’s fun personality, and creative nature. The video consisted of Talia using black eyeliner and eye shadow to create a “Halloween/Goth” look. It was actually a really cool look, because the design included a lot of really interesting curved lines, and some color and glitter here and there, which I thought was a much better option than putting on a mask. The next video that we are going to discuss is Talia’s 2011 Foundation Routine (Foundation Routine!!!! 2011 – YouTube), which was uploaded on November 19th, 2011. I really loved this foundation routine, because Talia used a lot of moisturizers, and tinted moisturizers, which made it the perfect summer foundation routine. Tinted moisturizers are great products to use during the summertime, because they provide coverage, but are also lightweight on your skin, so your pores won’t become clogged so easily (which is very easy to do during the summer because it’s hot and your sweating a lot more…it can just be a bad season skin wise). I thought that Talia’s foundation routine is great for a causal dinner or party because you are able to achieve a very natural look, that perfect for those days when you want to have the effects of a good makeup routine, without having to put in a lot of work to achieve the look. The final video that we are going to talk about in this blog post is Talia’s ‘Dramatic Fall Smokey Eye’ tutorial Dramatic Fall Smokey eye 🙂) which was uploaded on September 27th, 2012. I personally loved this tutorial because I am very unskilled at achieving a smokey eye (usually my attempts make me look like I lost a boxing match), so I admire anyone who can achieve this look, and I definitely took notes from this tutorial. This video really showed how skilled Talia was with makeup, and proved that she could have had a great future in the field. I really loved this look for a special occasion, or fancy party, and just felt that it looked very mature and elegant. I really wish that I could talk to y’all about every video on Talia’s channel, because they were all so good. I HIGHLY suggest you check out her other videos, because trust me, your makeup skills will improve A LOT.

Along with her beauty videos, Talia also uploaded vlogs, where she spoke about cancer, and gave advice to other kids in similar situations. One of Talia’s vlogs that I wanted to speak about was her ‘Coping With Cancer’ (Talia’s Life: Coping with Cancer!) vlog, which was uploaded on November 26th, 2011. In this blog, Talia spoke honestly about how she juggled school and her treatments, as well as how she became confident enough to go out in public without a wig. She stated that she had to miss school regularly because she received treatment in another state; however her teachers were very accommodating. I really loved that Talia mentioned that school was a #1 priority for her, because I’m sure it was not an easy thing to keep up with due to her disease. She also explained how she used to feel insecure when people starred at her, but after dealing with cancer for so many years, became more confident in herself, and was able to use makeup as a way to accentuate her natural beauty. I definitely thought that this video is an excellent resource for anyone with cancer to watch, due to how honest and detailed Talia is.The next vlog that we are going to discuss is Talia’s dance video to Carly Rae Jepsen’s hit song ‘Call Me Maybe’ Calll mmmeee …). I really enjoyed this video, because it really showed that Talia was a fun-loving, regular middle school girl, who seemed to really enjoy dancing around and acting silly. It was nice to get this small glimpse into her life, and actually feel as if you knew her. I really like it when YouTubers allow their fans to get to know them at a personal level, because it makes you feel as if they are your friends. On July 16, 2013, Talia’s older sister Mattia uploaded a video (Talia left her handprints and footprints on the world) explaining that Talia had passed away. She explained how she planned to one day create a makeup and clothing line for Talia. On December 11, 2013, the ‘YouTube Rewind’ YouTube Rewind: What Does 2013 Say? (which is a big video that several popular YouTubers participate in to recap the past year’s events) of 2013 was dedicated to Talia.

As you can see, Talia made a HUGE impact during her time on this earth. She not only inspired fans worldwide, but was also a very accomplished and knowledgeable beauty guru. Although she was taken much too soon, her legacy has lived on in the hearts of her fans, who have taken it upon themselves to much too early, her fans have honored her by accomplishing goals that Talia put on her bucket list before she passed away. Her family has also been able to use Talia’s story as a vehicle to spread awareness of childhood cancer, and to raise funds to find cures, and help the families affected by the disease – far too many families are affected by this (be it through child cancer or even as an adult). It can cause families a lot of stress, countless evenings looking up things like individual critical illness insurance just in case something happens, and the horrible nights spent in the hospital when things get bad. But Talia was there to help, and she did so much, whether intentionally or not. I think that the best way that we can all keep Talia’s legacy alive, is to help raise awareness and to find a cure for the various forms of cancer, and by remembering what Talia taught the world about hope, positivity and true beauty, Talia truly proved that a smile is the best accessory of all.

  • All photos and information used in this blog belong to Talia Castellano, her family, any and all companies and individuals involved with any of the products that are mentioned on Talia’s channel, Ellen Degeneres, any and all people/companies/etc. involved with The Ellen Degeneres Show, Covergirl cosmetic, any and all hospitals mentioned in any of Talia’s videos, nydailynews.com, and all other original owners. I do not own anything in this blog. All opinions expressed in this blog are my own. I wrote this blog for entertainment purposes and no copyright infringement is intended.