jw.org en Watkins, a fan-favorite contestant on MasterChef Junior, is dead. He was 14 years old. Ben died Monday after battling a rare type of cancer for a year and a half, the Chicago Tribune reported on Tuesday. The teen’s death occurred three years after both parents were killed in a domestic violence incident in 2017.
“After the loss of both parents in September 2017, we were amazed by Ben’s strength, courage, and love for life,” he said in a statement shared on a GoFundMe campaign page. “He never complained. I was the strongest person we knew, and he will always stay that way.”
Last year, days before his 13th birthday, Ben was diagnosed with Angiomatoid Fibrous Histiocytoma, an extremely rare soft tissue tumor that occurs only in a small number of children and young adults.
“When Ben’s rare illness was shared with the world, he was so courageous by the love he saw from all corners of the world – especially here, in his hometown of Gary, Indiana.
“Ben has suffered more than his share in his fourteen years on this Earth, but we finally find solace in the end of his suffering, and finally Ben knew he was loved by many.”
Ben was treated at the Chicago Lurie Children’s Hospital. Edwards told the Chicago Tribune that a golf ball-sized tumor developed into a grapefruit-sized mass on his nephew’s neck, and Ben received chemotherapy for tumors in his lungs, spine, and shoulder.
“Despite all the pain and illness Ben suffered, he never complained once,” Edwards told the Chicago Tribune of his nephew, who took over the legal guardianship of the aspiring cook after the death of his family.
“We were praying for a different outcome,” Edwards said. “But Ben’s lungs could no longer give him the air he needed to breathe. It was devastating.”
Ben is remembered by his family as a “superhero” for his endless optimism and devotion. The Chicago Tribune reported that Ben would ask his nurses to make sure his uncle was getting enough water and encouraged a doctor who wrote an article about his condition to use his name so that other children would not experience the same pain as him. happened.
“I just… it was a lot of dedication,” Edwards said. “It was not real, the character he had … owner.”
“Ben’s life was in a way glorious. Every corner he turns has turned into an expression. It’s comforting to know that he doesn’t have to suffer so much anymore,” he continued, adding that Edwards and Ben would be such. She’s a great role model for the baby cousin she calls “the cookie”.
“I will always be our superhero,” he said.
His family friend Trent McCain told the Chicago Tribune that Ben was “inspiration” for “many people.”
“With the spread of love and support Ben has received over the past three years, I have seen humanity and kindness closely,” McCain said.
Police then told the Chicago Tribune that Ben’s family’s deaths were deemed murder-suicide in 2017. His father first shot and killed his mother and then himself. The tragedy occurred right after Ben filmed the sixth season of Fox’s MasterChef Junior.
The season aired the following year and people across the country fell in love with Ben, who was 11 at the time, and helped raise $ 30,000 as a trust fund for him.
“Ben will always be remembered as a sweet, caring soul,” McCain told the Chicago Tribune.