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Ben Watkins a contestant from “MasterChef Junior” has lost his year and a half long battle with cancer on Nov. 19, 2020. His uncle and grandmother confirmed the sad news in a statement. He was 14-years-old.
Our Ben went home to be with his mother Monday afternoon after a year-and-a-half-long battle with cancer.
Watkins appeared on Season six of the show. He was 11-years-old when he was on the “MasterChef Junior.” Shortly after he turned 13-years-old Watkins was diagnosed with angiomatoid fibrous histiocytoma. Angiomatoid fibrous histiocytoma is a rare soft tissue cancer.
He was receiving treatment at Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago, Illinois. According to the Chicago Tribune, Watkins’ parents died due to a murder-suicide situation. His family was amazed at “Ben’s strength, courage and love for life.”
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 Gary, Indiana.
His family felt he was the strongest person they knew. Prior to his parent’s death, Watkins helped them open Big Ben’s Bodacious BBQ and Delicatessen. This restaurant is in the Miller community in Gary.
Watkins had dreams of becoming an engineer when he grew up, according to his family. His family has taken “solace” in the fact that he is no longer suffering.
He was raised by his grandmother and uncle after he became an orphan. Following his dreams of being a chef — just like his father — Watkins became one of the “MasterChef Junior” show’s top 18 chefs. He won the viewer’s hearts with his signature dish of fried chicken with mashed potatoes.
Upon hearing the sad news of the young star’s death Gordon Ramsay tweeted, “Ben you were an incredibly talented home cook and even stronger young man. Your young life had so many tough turns but you always persevered. Sending all the love to Ben Watkins’ family with this terrible loss Gx.”
The young star is survived by his grandmother Donna Edwards and his uncle Anthony Edwards. He is greatly missed by his friends and fans. May he rest in peace.
Written by Sheena Robertson
Legacy: Ben Watkins (2020), “MasterChef Junior” star by Linnea Crowther
The New York Times: ‘MasterChef Junior’ Star Ben Watkins Dies of Cancer at 14 by Derrick Bryson Taylor
WGN TV: Ben Watkins, who competed on ‘MasterChef Junior,’ dies at 14 by Nexstar Media Wire
Featured and Top Image Courtesy of jeffreyw’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License