It’s with a heavy heart that I report Ben Watkins, a former contestant on season six of “MasterChef Junior,” passed away on Monday after battling a rare form of cancer.
Ben was 14.
The young star was undergoing treatment for angiomatoid fibrous histiocytoma — a soft tissue tumor — at Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago.
Ben Watkins was hospitalized for 18-months undergoing chemo for tumors in his lung, spine, and shoulder.
He was one of only six people in the world who suffered from the disease.
A statement from his maternal grandmother and uncle read:
Our Ben went home to be with his mother Monday afternoon after a year-and-a half-long battle with Cancer.
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.
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 that end, Ben knew he was loved by so many. #Love4Ben
Donna Edwards & Anthony Edwards
Gordon Ramsay paid tribute to Ben in a post on his Instagram page.
We lost a Master of the @masterchefjunior kitchen today. 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. I adored our time cooking and laughing together on set. Heartbroken today losing my little mate, sending all my love to Ben Watkins’ family with this terrible loss Gx
See the post below:
Rest in paradise, Ben.
My love and prayers to the Edwards family and all who knew and loved Ben.