I’ve got a confession to make. I’m a YouTuber that doesn’t know much about the work of other YouTubers. The truth is, I’m busy and consistently absorbed in my own business affairs. I mean, who isn’t nowadays? Regardless, that all changed when I recently met Mattia and Desiree Castellano.

If you haven’t heard of these two wonderful women, they are the family members of 13 year old deceased YouTube star, Talia Castellano. Talia was well-known for her popular YouTube channel TaliaJoy18 which featured her giving unique makeup tutorials, as well as vlogs about fashion and the neuroblastoma cancer she had been fighting for six years. She also gained increasing notoriety for her work as an honorary CoverGirl model which landed her an appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

I met Talia’s mother and sister when I was in New York for a Lifetime television network event and out of the small group of attendees invited, we instantly clicked. I had no idea who they were or why they were selected to attend the same event I was, but they seemed like two people worth knowing.

After getting acquainted, my heart ached for them. Desiree had lost one of her children and Mattia had lost a sister she was very close to. That can’t be easy and being as close to my own mother and 14 year old sister as I am, I couldn’t fathom a loss that major. Let alone, publicly speaking about it consistently and carrying on a legacy passed down in tragedy.

That’s when I realized I was in the presence of greatness. These women are not only as beautiful and vivacious as Talia was, but they are strong. Mattia is as equally into makeup and fashion as her sister was, so carrying her torch isn’t too difficult. The hard part is that she has to do it without her sister by her side.

We enjoyed that event in each other’s company and exchanged information before heading to separate airports to leave New York. Mattia and I have spoken quite regularly since meeting in Manhattan and can’t wait to reunite in the future. Not only is she herself a popular YouTube and Instagram talent, but she’s also a college student on the brink of finishing up her schooling at Valencia college before completing her goal of graduating from UCF, majoring in business management and marketing.

When she’s not being a student or giving her own makeup tutorials and fashion advice, you can definitely find her continuing her sisters legacy by raising money for neuroblastoma research/awareness and celebrating the amazing impact her sister has had on her own life as well as the lives of many others.

What her and her mother are doing is amazing and I’m really glad I met them and made some new friends. Catching up on Talia’s videos made me an emotional wreck. She was not only hilarious and talented, but extremely charming. Watching her body of work made me sad that I never got to know her before her untimely passing on July 16th, 2013, but I can safely say that she most likely acquired those attributes from her wonderfully loving family and I can’t wait to see where their journey will take them.

You can support Talia’s legacy by visiting TaliasLegacy.org and check out Mattia Castellano on YouTube, Facebook, twitter and Instagram. Also, check out Desiree Castellano‘s Instagram. Their family is incredibly inspiring.