After over a year of fighting a rare form of cancer, former “MasterChef Junior” star Ben Watkins died this week at the age of 14, his family said.
The season six MasterChef Junior contestant died 18 months after being diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, angiomatoid fibrous histiocytoma, a soft-tissue tumor most commonly occurring in children and young adults. Ben died after undergoing treatment and fighting a year-and-a-half-long battle.
“After losing both of his parents in September 2017, we have marveled at Ben’s strength, courage and love for life. He never, ever complained. Ben was and will always be the strongest person we know,” said Donna Edwards and Anthony Edwards, Watkins’ maternal grandmother and uncle, in a joint statement that was posted to a GoFundMe page called “#Love4Ben.” “When Ben’s rare illness was shared with the world, he was so heartened by the outpouring of love he received from every corner of the globe — especially here in his hometown of Gary, Indiana. We cannot thank this community enough for holding our family up in prayer and for all that you’ve done. Ben suffered more than his share in his fourteen years on this Earth, but we take solace in that his suffering is finally over and in that, in the end, Ben knew he was loved by so many.”
Watkins joined the 2018 season of MasterChef Junior, hosted by Gordon Ramsey, when he was 11 years old.