13 year-old cancer girl from Florida fashions her big dream

Cancer girl fashions her big dream


Tuesday, Apr 30, 2013
The New Paper

At 13, she has already been made a honorary face of CoverGirl, a US cosmetics brand. Talia Joy Castellano also has a video blog on YouTube which has generated about 39 million views so far. Talia is from Orlando, Florida, and despite having terminal cancer, dreams big. She has now achieved another dream – to become a fashion designer. Talia is set to launch a collection for teenagers with Los Angeles-based designer, Urbana Chappa, the Daily Mail reported. Ms Chappa, who runs a women’s wear label called Maison De Urbana, decided to help fulfil Talia’s dream of becoming a fashion designer after hearing the teen’s inspirational story on The Ellen DeGeneres Show last year. She flew to Florida on April 15 to meet her at the Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children in Orlando, to help bring her design ideas to life. They discussed about launching the brand in the coming weeks. Talia said she wanted to “show young teens that they can express themselves with clothes”.Ms Chappa, who was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 19 but successfully overcame the disease, explained that meeting Talia was an experience she would never forget. She said: “Even though Talia was sick in the hospital, we made the best of our time. She’s so full of life that it’s hard for me to imagine that she has cancer. We talked, sketched, worked on her line. “My heart hurts to know that she has to go through this and that she had so much she wants to do and accomplish. I wanted nothing more to keep her legacy alive.”

They have called their brand That Bald Chick, in reference to Talia’s hairless appearance.

In one of her YouTube video blogs, Talia explained that she doesn’t wear a wig because they make her feel “fake” and “just not me”. Instead, she uses make-up as a confidence booster.

All proceeds from sales of her clothing range will go to her family who face sky-high medical bills.

Talia was first diagnosed with stage four neuroblastoma cancer, a tumour that develops from nerve tissue in infants and children, on Valentine’s Day in 2007. She was seven then. Following chemotherapy, surgery and radiation she was cancer-free for one year, but in September 2008 doctors found the disease had spread to a small lymph node near her heart.

For the next four years she received various treatments, but after periods of remission the cancer kept on returning to other parts of her body.

Last year, she revealed that she had neuroblastoma and leukaemia at the same time. Doctors suggested a bone marrow transplant as a possible remedy, but she decided to forgo another painful surgery and enjoy her remaining days. Talk show star, Ellen DeGeneres, also cited the youngster as an inspiration.

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (www.heroinnovator.com), the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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