Washington, Jun 7: A 20-year-old Brazilian man who shot to fame after spending USD 50,000 on surgery to transform himself into a human version of Barbie's boyfriend 'Ken' has died after a five-month battle with cancer.
Celso Santebanes was diagnosed with leukemia last year. He died at a university hospital in Uberlandia in the state of Minais Gerais on Thursday after contracting pneumonia.
He had been admitted to the hospital on May 26 for chemotherapy sessions. Santebanes started his transformation into a Ken doll after winning a modelling contest at the age of 16.
Santebanes then shot to fame after he was spotted by a talk show in his hometown of Sao Paulo. He also launched his own line of Celso Dolls in Los Angeles shortly before he got sick, 'The Inquisitr' reported.
Before his death, he'd had four operations on his jaw, chin, and nose in addition to silicone implants in his chest. Santebanes discovered he had cancer after visiting the hospital to treat infections that were caused by hydrogel fillers, which were injected in his legs four years ago.
"When he was starting to fulfil his dreams, he discovered his illness and his dreams were interrupted. He had plans but God had others," Santebanes' father Celio Borge said.