‘Masterchef Junior’ star Ben Watkins hospitalized with rare tumor 3 years after parents’ murder-suicide
His guardians reactivated his #Love4Ben GoFundMe campaign to help with medical expenses
Ben Watkins, a 13-year-old chef, was recently diagnosed with Angiomatoid Fibrous Histiocytoma (AFH).
Watkins’ diagnosis comes three years after his parents died in 2017 from a murder-suicide. According to authorities, his father shot and killed his mother. The man then killed himself.
Watkins is currently undergoing treatment at Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago.
In 2017, when his parents died, Watkins had just finished filming season six of Fox’s MasterChef Junior. His season aired in 2018.
Once people became aware of the young chef’s unfortunate loss, they came together to raise $30,000 through GoFundMe to support his future endeavors.
#Love4Ben is the title of his GoFundMe campaign, which has now be reignited by his guardians; Watkins’ maternal grandmother, Donna Edwards, and his uncle, Anthony Edwards.
The funds being raised will help cover his medical bills and schooling. The campaign has now reached over $50,000.
Chef Watkins found a love for the kitchen from his parents who owned a restaurant and named it after him. The science of baking and cooking is where his passion stems from. He also hopes to become an engineer on day.
“It’s more reliable than being a chef,” he told the Chicago Tribune in 2017.
According to the #Love4Ben GoFundMe page, Watkins is one of six people in the world diagnosed with Angiomatoid Fibrous Histiocytoma.
Angiomatoid Fibrous Histiocytoma: A Case Report and Review of the Literature informs us that AFH is a rare tumor most commonly affecting children and young adults. This tumor presents most often a painless, slow-growing mass. The characteristics of this disease compounded with few patients experiencing noticeable symptoms can make it hard to be detected.
Watkins has started chemotherapy at Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago.
“Despite all of Ben’s trials and tribulations, he remains positive and looks forward to getting back in the kitchen and pursuing his dream to become an Engineer,” wrote his family in the about section of #Love4Ben.
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