MasterChef Junior’s Ben Watkins has died at 14 following cancer battle … after tragically losing both of his parents in 2017
- Teen was a fan favorite on MasterChef Junior
- He had rare condition that impacts soft tissue
- ‘Ben was and will always be the strongest person we’ve known,’ his family said
- Parents died in 2017 murder-suicide
- Watkins had recently filmed MasterChef Junior’s sixth season when it happened
MasterChef Junior’s Ben Watkins died on Monday at 14 from cancer at Chicago’s Lurie Children’s Hospital, his family said.
Watkins in July was diagnosed with Angiomatoid Fibrous Histiocytoma, as his relatives said that doctors told them that only five other people in the world had the rare ailment, which impacts soft tissue, TMZ reported Tuesday.
His maternal grandmother Donna Edwards and uncle Anthony Edwards said in a statement: ‘Our Ben went home to be with his mother Monday afternoon after a year-and-a-half battle with cancer.
The latest: MasterChef Junior’s Ben Watkins died on Monday at 14 from cancer at Chicago’s Lurie Children’s Hospital, his family said
‘Ben was and will always be the strongest person we’ve known.’
The teenage cook, who is from Chicago, lost both of his parents Leila Edwards and Mike Watkins in a 2017 murder-suicide when his father fatally shot his mother before taking his own life, authorities told the Chicago Tribune.
At the time of the tragic incident, Watkins had recently shot MasterChef Junior’s sixth season.
It aired the following year, and fans donated $30,000 for a fundraising campaign called #Love4Ben toward a trust fund for the talented young cook, who was just 11 when he was on the show.
Tragic backstory: Watkins lost his parents Leila Edwards and Mike Watkins in a 2017 murder-suicide
Sad: Watkins had recently filmed MasterChef Junior’s sixth season at the time his parents died
Upon his diagnosis, Watkins’ family revived the #Love4Ben campaign on GoFundMe, seeking help with covering his medical and educational expenses.
‘Despite all of Ben’s trials and tribulations, he remains positive and looks forward to getting back in the kitchen and pursuing his dream to become an Engineer,’ a statement on the fundraising page read. ‘We want Ben to be able to continue his education in the culinary arts and/or Engineering wherever he wants to in the world.’
‘On behalf of Grandma Donna and Uncle Anthony, thank you for your #Love4Ben!.’