Tags: masterchef junior | ben watkins | cancer

'MasterChef Junior' Contestant Dies at 14

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By    |   Wednesday, 18 November 2020 10:45 AM

Former "MasterChef Junior" contestant Ben Watkins has died at age 14 from cancer. The young TV star passed away Monday after an 18-month battle with the rare illness Angiomatoid Fibrous Histiocytoma, his family confirmed in a statement to The Wrap.

"After losing both of his parents in September 2017, we have marveled at Ben’s strength, courage and love for life," they wrote. "He never, ever complained. Ben was and will always be the strongest person we know."

Watkins appeared in Season 6 of "MasterChef Junior," which aired in 2018. He was eliminated in the fifth episode of the cooking competition hosted by Gordon Ramsay. Shortly after filming for the show wrapped up, Watkins' father shot and killed his mother then took his own life. A year later Watkins was diagnosed with the rare illness, which is a soft tissue tumor that affects children and young adults.

Watkins had spent the last few months undergoing chemotherapy to treat tumors in his neck, lung, spine, and shoulder. His uncle, Anthony Edwards, told the Chicago Tribune he wished things could have ended differently.

"We were praying for a different outcome. But Ben’s lungs could no longer give him the air he needed to breathe. It’s been devastating," he said.

"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," Watkins' family continued in their statement. "We cannot think this community enough for holding our family up in prayer and for all that you’ve done. Then suffered more than his share and his 14 years on this earth but we take solace in that his suffering is finally over and did that, in the end, then you he was loved by so many."

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Former "MasterChef Junior" contestant Ben Watkins has died at age 14 from cancer. The young TV star passed away Monday after an 18-month battle with the rare illness Angiomatoid Fibrous Histiocytoma...
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2020-45-18
Wednesday, 18 November 2020 10:45 AM
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