Masterchef Junior contestant Ben Watkins, 14, dies

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Ben Watkins
Ben Watkins
Photo: FOX Image Collection via Getty Images
  • Ben Watkins has died at the age of 14 after being diagnosed with Angiomatoid Fibrous Histiocytoma – an extremely rare soft tissue tumour.
  • The talented young chef was best known for appearing in season six of Masterchef Junior.
  • In a statement his uncle and grandmother said: "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."


Ben Watkins has died. He was 14 years old.

The star, known for appearing in season six of Masterchef Junior, was diagnosed with Angiomatoid Fibrous Histiocytoma – an extremely rare soft tissue tumour – back in July. On Tuesday it was reported the fan-favourite contestant had succumbed to his illness.

The 14-year-old was in the care of his relatives, having lost both his parents in a murder-suicide in 2017. In a statement on Monday, Ben's uncle Anthony Edwards and grandmother Donna Edwards said the talented young chef had gone "home to be with his mother," reports People.

"After losing both of his parents in September 2017, we have marvelled at Ben's strength, courage and love for life," the statement reads, per Variety. "He never, ever complained. Ben was and will always be the strongest person we know."

The statement continued: "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," the family said, after setting up the #Love4Ben GoFundMe.

"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."

Ben's uncle, Anthony, told the Chicago Tribune that the star was treated at the Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago. During that time, however, a golf-ball-sized tumour had grown into a grapefruit-sized mass in his neck. But he's also been undergoing chemotherapy for tumours on his lungs, spine and shoulder. 

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