'Masterchef Junior' competitor dies at 14 after cancer battle

Ben Watkins died three years after losing both of his parents.


An Indiana boy who competed on "MasterChef Junior" died Monday after a year and a half battle with a rare cancer. He was 14 years old.

Ben Watkins initially competed on the kids cooking show when he was 11 years old and quickly became a fan favorite, E! Online reported.

The aspiring chef had opened Big Ben's Bodacious BBQ and Delicatessen in his hometown of Gary, Indiana, with his late parents.

He was diagnosed with an extremely rare cancer called Angiomatoid Fibrous Histiocytoma shortly before his 13th birthday, according to his family.

"After losing both of his parents in September 2017, we have marveled at Ben’s strength, courage and love for life," his family said in a statement on Ben's GoFundMe page. "He never, ever complained. Ben was and will always be the strongest person we know."

He lost both of his parents after his father killed his mother who then took his own life in 2017, according to reports.

Chef Gordon Ramsay tweeted about Ben on Tuesday.

"Ben you were an incredibly talented home cook and even stronger young man," Ramsay said. "Your young life had so many tough turns but you always persevered."

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