#TaliasLegacy

This week we wanted to recognize and honor the story of a 13-year-old girl who devoted her short time on this earth to supporting children and families who live with cancer, while battling cancer herself.

Talia Joy Castellano was just seven years old when she was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a malignant tumor that develops from nerve tissue. This is the most common form of cancer found in childhood and infancy. A short time later she found out that she also had Leukemia, a cancer of the blood or bone marrow which causes almost one-third of all cancer deaths in children and adolescents younger than 15 years old. Battling two cancers at once is almost unheard of.

Following the diagnosis, Talia started spending more time with Tammy DeLaRosa, a cancer survivor and close family friend. DeLaRosa shared in an interview, “I have drawers and cabinets and stuff full of makeup, and she just started going through them and pulling them out, and then she asked me if I would put makeup on her and so I did.

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Talia began experimenting with makeup after losing her hair to chemotherapy treatments. She created her own tutorials and posted them to YouTube. One of her videos earned more than 8 million views, and her channel (GMA News) gained more than 750,000 followers. “I love and adore makeup, using it as my wig and having so much self-confidence to go out to the grocery store without a wig,” she says in one of her videos, “It’s just amazing.” What seemed even more amazing was Talia’s positive attitude despite the circumstances, truly evoking her middle name, Joy.

The YouTube make up guru had mentioned in a video once that she dreamt of meeting Ellen Degeneres. The TV host caught wind of this and turned Talia’s dream into reality when she invited Talia to appear on “The Ellen Show” in September 2012.  She said, “I am inspired by people like yourself. I think there are a lot of people who go through a lot of struggling situations, and despite what the doctors have said and the cancer you’re going through, how do you stay so positive?” she asked.

Referring to Ellen’s character Dory in Finding Nemo, Talia responded, “When people ask me that, what do you want me to do, be depressed? I mean a little fishy told me, ‘Just keep swimming, just keep swimming!’

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Ellen, a Cover Girl representative herself, made Talia an honorary Cover Girl and presented her with her own portrait. The makeup brand was awed by Talia’s story and also awarded her a makeup table and $20,000.

Of all the positive messages that Talia video-blogged online, the one that resonates with the Public Interest Registry team most is the idea of leaving impactful footprints on the world and being a part of something bigger. This little giant certainly did that.
Talia’s favorite charity was the Base Camp Childeren’s Cancer Foundation, a nonprofit #dotORG that serves 200 families that are fighting cancer daily. With her footprint in mind, Talia launched a fundraising campaign called “Bring Hope Home” to raise $125,000 so that the local charity in Orlando, FL would be able to buy an office condo to create a permanent home for their programs.

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Talia wanted to leave her legacy at the BASE Camp office by creating Talia’s room — “a destination where girls can come when they’re feeling down, a place where they can come to get pretty…filled with make-up, nail polish, pretty dresses, jewelry and shoes!” (BaseCamp)

Please help BASE Camp fulfill Talia’s Legacy with your donation.

Last week, on July 16th, Talia unfortunately lost her battle to cancer, but she continues to win over all of our hearts. Just a few days before she passed, Talia posted her 74-item bucket list to her official Facebook fan page. This list included to-do’s like “leave my handprint in wet cement,” “send a message in a bottle,” “help a newbie with cancer,” and “jump in a pool of jello.”

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Talia’s supporters are now honoring her life by completing all of the items on her list and sending in photos to with the hashtag #TaliasBucketList on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

We would like to send our deepest condolences to Talia’s family and friends. Thank you for helping this bright young girl share her light and energy with the rest of the world. Her legacy will continue to live on.

#foodstagrams to Fight World Hunger

 

As Public Interest Registry draws closer toward its launch of the .NGO/.ONG domain extensions, we are actively searching for NGOs around the globe — to connect with, to understand their mission(s), and to help share their stories in a newly defined space.

Most recently, we came across Manos Unidas — an NGO in Spain that works for the support, promotion and development of the third world — and a strategic initiative (developed by DDB Spain) that we wanted to share on the organization’s behalf. This effort to help end world hunger is called FoodShareFilter, and it is the first supportive filter for Instagram that turns your food porn into acts of kindness.

Each time users take/upload a photo of their meal through the app, they simply apply the filter which adds a caption underneath the image saying, “This picture helps millions of people not to suffer hunger. If you are going to share your food, share it for real.” It is then encouraged to add the hashtag #FoodShareFilter so that people can search and follow your posts both on Instagram and Twitter. Conveniently, the app allows you to send your photos directly to Instagram and any other social networking sites that your Instagram account is linked to. The hashtag and sharing capability enables viral momentum for online communication and the promotion of a great cause.

“We wanted to get closer to younger people. With this in mind, we started to think about food porn and the way people upload their pics on Instagram,” Nerea Cierco, digital creative director at DDB Spain, the agency behind FoodShareFilter, told Fast Co.Exist. “They are used to improving their pics with touching and effects, and we know they are used to paying for these types of apps. So we thought there was opportunity to turn that action into help for others.”

The video above explains how the app works in Spanish, but here is a step-by-step guide listed in English:

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First, download the FoodShareFilter on iTunes.

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Either upload a photo from your photo library or take a new picture on your mobile device.

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Click “Apply Filter” so that you can see a caption written underneath your picture that reads, “This picture helps millions of people not to suffer hunger. If you are going to share your food, share it for real.” Don’t forget to add “#FoodShareFilter”.

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Share your photo on Instagram (and any other social networking sites that your account is linked to). Aaaand wah-lah!

While Manos Unidas doesn’t earn revenue from Instagram posts, the cost of the $0.99 download from the App Store and $1.16 on Google Play gets donated to an agricultural program in El Salvador run by this NGO. And of course, each shared photo continues to raise awareness of food poverty around the world.

Are you addicted to food porn? Turn your addition into acts of kindness 🙂

On another note, if you or someone you know if affiliated with an NGO that is working for a specific cause, please send information to us about your organization at info@pir.org. We would love to know where you are located and what work you do! If you are interested in learning more about .NGO/.ONG, or would like to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI), please visit www.ngotld.org.