‘Human Ken’ Dies: Celso Santebanes Dead After Courageous Leukemia Battle

Sadly, Celso Santebanes, who was best known as the “Brazilian Human Ken,” has died. According to a People report, the “Living Ken,” inspired by the fictional Mattel doll, who is Barbie’s fictional boyfriend, passed away Thursday in his homeland.

Sources report that Santebanes, 21, died at Federal University of Uberlandia Clinical Hospital. He was undergoing his latest regimen of cancer treatment. His exact cause of death is said to be from bacterial pneumonia, a complication that developed from the blood disorder.

The Human Ken enthusiast learned about the grim diagnosis months ago. Apparently, he sought a physician to help treat recurring infections from the hydrogen fillers he used to transform himself into the living version of Ken.

Five years ago, Santebanes was thrust into the limelight when he took first prize in a modeling contest. It’s believed in order to look like Mattel’s Ken doll, he paid upwards of $50,000 for surgeries to augment his chin, jaw, and nose.

Additionally, he had silicone implanted in his chest. He grew in popularity and began charging $16,000 for personal appearances as Human Ken.

Five months ago, the real-life Ken posted a surreal photo of his hand onto Instagram. His limp wrist was attached to an intravenous line as part of his chemotherapy treatments for blood cancer.

Earlier, on January 15, he updated fans about his decision to proceed with the medical procedures, despite his fears. On this milestone in his life, the Human Ken wannabe became focused less on appearance and more on his well-being.

“Today I start a new cycle of my life. I am starting chemotherapy and I admit I’m a little concerned about some side effects, like hair loss, nausea, my body’s rejection [of chemotherapy], among other things, but I am no longer concerned with the issue of aesthetics. For me that doesn’t matter. What matter is my health now, and I will fight for it.”

Human Ken dies
Human Ken cancer treatment: Model posts chilling photo months ago during chemotherapy.

He confirmed his diagnosis after much speculation about his health. It is loosely translated from Portuguese to English.

“Unfortunately I’m not going through a phase nothing good, was diagnosed with leukemia.”

Human Ken went on to set the record straight about silicone injections. Reportedly, several people on social media claimed his cancer diagnosis was the direct result from using artificial substances to alter his body, much like his Human Barbie counterpart(s). Santebanes insisted that the malignancy was not due to the Hydrogel and that anyone can contract the condition.

“I want to thank the affection of all Brazil who are rooting for my improvement.. you have no idea how important it is for me to receive messages of support and affection, this being everything to me…”

“I’ve cried.. I see my world collapsed, I do not want anyone to pity me, just pray for me and respect me.”

Months before Human Ken died, he was optimistic about a cure. Santebanes intended to pen a novel when he was healthy. “When I’m cured, I plan to release a book,” he said.

“Before, I struggled and did everything to be perfect. Today, God is showing me that there are other values. I think each day of treatment will be a great learning experience. I’ll be a new person.”

[Photo: Twitter, Instagram]

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