The young Brazilian, Celso Santebañes, who had spent more than 46,000 dollars to resemble the iconic Ken doll, has died at 20 years of age, after fighting leukemia for more than five months.
Santebañes, a native of São Paulo, died last Thursday in Uberlândia, state of Minas Gerais, as a result of pneumonia, that his immune system, already very weakened, could not resist.
Celso, who had always been a doll enthusiast, began his transformation at the age of 16, after winning a model competition in Brazil, which led him to want to become Ken, the well-known doll of Mattel Company.
From that moment on, he became known as the “Ken of real life” and charged more than 15,000 dollars for attending events, according to the British newspaper ‘The Daily Mail’.
The young man discovered his illness in a routine review after one of his aesthetic operations. Last May began to be treated with chemotherapy. However, the state of the disease was already quite advanced.
“When he was beginning to reach his goals, he discovered his illness and his dreams were interrupted,” lamented the young man’s father to ‘ the Daily Mail ‘. “He had plans for the future, but God had others.”
Santebañes, who had placed implants in the pectorals and dimples in cheeks and chin, never regretted his transformation, despite the harsh criticism he received from his friends and acquaintances.
“This is so magical, my whole life has changed, I feel that all of Brazil is with me supporting me,” the young man told a local newspaper. “I suffer a lot of prejudice, but that doesn’t affect me. The world is full of people who like to judge, but I don’t care.”
In January, when he discovered his illness, Celso announced that he was entering a “new cycle” of his life, in which the physical aspect would not be the most important.
“Now that doesn’t matter,” he told the newspaper ‘Latin Times’. “What matters now is my health and I will fight for it.”