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Ben Watkins, a former 'MasterChef Junior' contestant, dies of cancer at 14

November 18, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

MASTERCHEF: JUNIOR EDITION: Contestant Ben in the all-new ???Junior Edition: American Classics??? episode of MASTERCHEF airing Friday, March 16 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. CR: FOX. ?? 2018 / FOX Broadcasting.

After a year of fighting a rare form of cancer, former "MasterChef Junior" star Ben Watkins died this week at the age of 14, his family said.

(CNN)After a year of fighting a rare form of cancer, former "MasterChef Junior" star Ben Watkins died this week at the age of 14, his family said.

"After losing both of his parents in September 2017, we have marveled at Ben's strength, courage and love for life," said Donna Edwards and Anthony Edwards, Watkins' maternal grandmother and uncle, in a joint statement, posted to a GoFundMe page called "#Love4Ben. "

"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," the family added in its statement.

At his father's restaurant, Big Ben's Bodacious Barbecue & Deli, Watkins would regularly help out by taking orders, working the register and even selling his own homemade treats -- cinnamon rolls, cookies, brownies and banana bread, he told the Tribune in 2017.

"It is with great sadness that we mourn the passing of Ben Watkins, a beloved member of the MasterChef Junior family," the program wrote in its post.

Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay, host of "MasterChef Junior," also mourned Watkins, calling him an "incredibly talented home cook and even stronger young man. "

"Sending all the love to Ben Watkins' family with this terrible loss. "

Watkins' GoFundMe was originally intended to support him and his family after his parents' passing in 2017.

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