YouTube personality Keenan Cahill, who also helped platform those suffering from Maroteaux–Lamy syndrome, has died aged 27. Cahill recently underwent open heart surgery on December 15 2022 but “complications arose that he couldn’t overcome,” his family stated.
Cahill was regarded as one of the first YouTube personalities on the platform back in 2010 when his lip syncing videos went viral.. The accuracy of his videos and their widespread popularity lead to Cahill sharing the screen with Katy Perry and 50 Cent, both fans of the creator’s work.
Such was the virality of his YouTube works that in later years, Cahill further worked with the likes of Jennifer Anniston, David Guetta and some of the contestants on the reality TV series America’s Next Top Model. Wanting to be known as a musician in his own right rather than mimic other people’s work, Cahill moved into DJing and producing, releasing 18 singles and two EPs through iTunes between 2012 and 2022.
Cahill was also known for his medical condition, which his popularity helped shed more light on, and led to the open heart surgery required in December. Cahill suffered from the rare Maroteaux–Lamy syndrome which resulted in his appearance much like that of people with dwarfism. Cahill’s condition led him to have his first major surgery, a bone marrow transplant, at the age of two years old.
Maroteaux–Lamy syndrome also causes vital organs in the body to become enlarged, which led to the most recent course of surgery the creator had to undertake. The open-heart surgery was one of a number throughout his lifetime, including surgery to relieve intracranial pressure.
His manager David Graham paid tribute to Cahill shortly after the announcement, telling CNN “Keenan inspired millions worldwide by being his true self despite his short stature, disease, and age of 15-16.”