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‘MasterChef Junior’ Star Ben Watkins Dies at 14 From Cancer

‘MasterChef Junior’ Star Ben Watkins Dies at 14 From Cancer
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‘MasterChef Junior’ Star Ben Watkins Dies at 14 From Cancer

‘MasterChef Junior’ Star Ben Watkins Dies at 14 From Most cancers

Ben Watkins, a rising younger culinary star who appeared within the sixth season of “MasterChef Junior,” died on Monday from a uncommon type of most cancers, his household stated. He was 14.

“Our Ben went house to be together with his mom this afternoon after a year-and-a-half-long battle with most cancers,” Donna Edwards and Anthony Edwards, Ben’s maternal grandmother and uncle, stated in an announcement on Monday on a GoFundMe web page referred to as #Love4Ben. “Ben suffered greater than his share in his fourteen years on this Earth, however we take solace in that his struggling is lastly over and in that, ultimately, Ben knew he was liked by so many,” the household stated.

Trent McCain, the organizer of the GoFundMe marketing campaign and the household’s lawyer, didn’t reply to requests for touch upon Wednesday.

Ben appeared on “MasterChef Junior” on Fox in 2018 at age 11. He was certainly one of six Chicago-area youngsters to look on this system that 12 months.

Within the present’s premier episode, which had 40 contestants between the ages of 8 and 13 competing for twenty-four slots and an opportunity at a $100,000 prize within the finale, Ben snagged the ultimate white apron of the night time by making a peach cobbler with whipped cream and caramel sauce.

Ben positioned within the high 18 on the present, and have become a fan favourite, particularly as viewers discovered of his household historical past.

In September 2017, Ben’s father, Michael Watkins, shot and killed Ben’s mom, Leila Edwards, earlier than killing himself in Gary, Ind., based on The Chicago Tribune. Ben’s grandmother and uncle grew to become his authorized guardians.

At the moment, Ben had voiced his aspirations for turning into a chef and had dreamed of getting his personal restaurant, very like his father, who had opened Large Ben’s Bodacious Barbecue & Deli in Gary. The restaurant, The Tribune famous, was named after Ben.

Ben had additionally labored at his father’s restaurant, the newspaper stated, operating the money register, taking orders and promoting his personal do-it-yourself cookies, brownies, cinnamon rolls and banana bread. He attributed his baking abilities to his mom, saying, “My mother taught me the whole lot she knew. Or I simply picked it up by watching her.”

An announcement on the present’s Instagram account stated Ben had a “remarkably constructive perspective” and was a “large position mannequin” for cooks of all ages.

Gordon Ramsay, the movie star chef and host of “MasterChef Junior,” said in a statement on Tuesday that Ben was a proficient house prepare dinner and a powerful younger man. “Your younger life had so many powerful turns, however you all the time persevered,” Mr. Ramsay stated.

Not lengthy after his thirteenth birthday, Ben was identified with angiomatoid fibrous histiocytoma, his household stated. The situation is a uncommon mushy tissue tumor that mostly seems in youngsters and younger adults, based on the U.S. Nationwide Library of Drugs.

Mr. Edwards, Ben’s uncle, informed The Tribune in August that medical doctors two years in the past had thought {that a} rising tumor in Ben’s neck was malformed lymph nodes. “However even after remedy, the tumor stored bleeding,” he stated.

In late July, Ben started chemotherapy remedy for tumors in his lung, backbone and shoulder, The Tribune stated.

Ben’s household and neighborhood rallied behind him.

Katie Clark, a household pal, informed the newspaper that like his mom, Ben might gentle up a room. “He’s well mannered, outgoing, good, humorous, and remained that manner even into adolescence, which isn’t all the time the case with children coming into that part of life,” she stated.


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