‘MasterChef Junior’ contestant Ben Watkins died of cancer at the age of 14

“MasterChef Junior” contestant Ben Watkins died of cancer at Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago on Monday. He was 14 years old.

Watkins’ uncle and grandmother announced her death in a statement on a GoFundMe page titled “#Love4Ben”, which was originally created to support her education after the death of her parents in 2017. “After losing her parents in September 2017, we have loved Ben for his strength, courage and life,” the statement said. “He never complained. Ben was and always will be the strongest person we know. “

Ben Watkins.Michael Baker / Fox

Watkins’ family continued the statement, thanking the Indiana community for the support: “When Ben’s rare disease was shared with the world, he was deeply excited by the outbreak of love he received from every corner of the world – especially From here in my hometown of K Garry, Indiana. We cannot thank this community for keeping their family in prayer and for all you have done. Ben has faced more than his share on this earth in his fourteen years Had to do, but we take care that his grief is finally over and Ben finally finds out that he loves her very much. “

Watkins was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, angiomatoid fibrous histiocytoma, a soft tissue tumor that usually occurs in children and young adults, and died after treatment for 18 months.

In 2018, the sixth season of Grayson Ramsay’s “MasterChef Junior” featured the aspiring chef when he was 11 years old. Among the 40 contestants of the season, Watkins was part of the top 24, competing for the winning title. He made it to the top 18.

Growing up in Indiana, Watkins spent his free time cooking at his family’s restaurants, Big Ben’s Bodecius BBQ and Delisatessen, until he lost both his parents, Lila Edwards and Mike Watkins, a murder. -In suicide, reported by the Chicago Tribune. The month his parents died, the restaurant closed.

That year, the Miller Beach community, a neighborhood in Gary, Ind., Where Ben lived, stayed around the then 13-year-old, raised more than $ 30,000 through GoFundMe to support his dreams in cooking and engineering.

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