Beloved MasterChef Junior contestant Ben Watkins died at 14 years old. According to reports from Chicago Tribune, Ben died on Monday, Nov. 16 after suffering from Angiomatoid Fibrous Histiocytoma. This type of cancer is an extremely rare soft tissue tumor that occurs in only a small number of children and young adults. The young teen suffered immense tragedy losing both of his parents to a domestic violence incident just three years before his battle with cancer.
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Ben’s uncle Anthony Edwards and grandmother Donna Edwards cared for him thereafter. In a statement issued Monday, Ben’s uncle and grandmother said that he had gone “home to be with his mother.”
“After losing both his parents in September 2017, we have marveled at Ben’s strength, courage and love for life,” the statement, shared on a GoFundMe campaign page, said. “He never, ever complained. Ben was and will always be the strongest person we know.”
Watkins appeared on the sixth season of Fox’s “MasterChef Junior” when he was only 11 years old. He placed in the top 18 after first making the cut to be in the top 24. Between filming the show in the first half of 2017 and its airdate a year later, Ben lost both of his parents to a murder-homicide, according to the Chicago Tribune.
The season aired the following year. Across the country, people fell in love with then-11-year-old Ben and helped raise $30,000 as a trust fund for him. MasterChef Junior host Gordon Ramsay remembers “incredibly talented home cook” Ben Watkins in a tweet earlier today (Nov. 17).
Through one traumatic experience after the next, Ben still saw the brightest side of life. His uncle and grandmother recall him being full of joy.
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Ben became a hometown hero at the tender age of 14 years old for persevering with a smile on his face.
McCain told the Chicago Tribune that “Ben will always be remembered as a sweet, tender soul.”
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Tragic News: “MasterChef Junior’s” Ben Watkins Dies Of Rare Cancer was originally published on globalgrind.com