One of the most popular young winners to ever come out of “Master Chef Jr” has died.
He was just 14-years-old.
His name is Ben Watkins and he appeared on season 6 of the popular cooking show that features young children with exceptional cooking skills.
Young Ben was diagnosed with a very rare type of cancer called “angiomatoid fibrous histiocytoma” that only 6 people in the entire world have.
Unbelievably, just after his big “Master Chef Jr” win, Ben suffered the loss of both of his parents in a “murder/suicide” nightmare.
The boy loved working at Big Ben’s Bodacious BBQ and Delicatessen in Gary, Indiana, and had dreams of opening his own place someday.
When he was just 13, the brave young soul was diagnosed with angiomatoid fibrous histiocytoma — a condition so rare that only six people in the world have it.
The cancer manifested in aggressive tumors on his spine, shoulder and lung, according to The Times of Northwest Indiana. He went through surgeries and treatment at Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, but after 18 months of fighting, Ben died.
“We were praying for a different outcome,” Anthony Edwards, Ben’s legal guardian, told the Chicago Tribune. “But Ben’s lungs could no longer give him the air he needed to breathe. It’s been devastating.”
“There’s no cause and it’s not hereditary, so it didn’t come from his parents.”
Ben’s grandmother and uncle shared a statement after his death, praising his good nature and innate strength.
“Our Ben went home to be with his mother Monday afternoon after a year-and-a-half battle with cancer,” they wrote. “After losing both of his parents in September 2017, we have marveled about Ben’s strength, courage and love for life.
The family went on to say that even though he was very sick, Ben never once complained. They said that he was and will always be the strongest person they’ve ever known.
They also said that young Ben was heartened by the outpouring of love he received from every corner of the world — especially from 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 14 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.”
How very sad.
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