‘MasterChef Junior’ star Ben Watkins dead at 14

The young aspiring chef was diagnosed with a rare cancer just years after his parents died by a murder-suicide

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Ben Watkins, the young star of MasterChef Junior, died on Monday at 14 after being diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, his family announced.

Watkins was diagnosed with a soft tissue tumor at only 13. His cancer, known as Angiomatoid Fibrous Histiocytoma, was deemed so rare that doctors told family members that only 1 of 6 people in the entire world is diagnosed with it, TMZ reports.

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He had been undergoing treatment for the illness at Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago.

Ben Watkins, the star of MasterChef Junior, died on Monday at 14 after being diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, his family announced.(Photo: FOX)

Watkins competed in MasterChef Junior back in 2018 during the show’s sixth season at the tender age of 11. He quickly became a fan favorite. Earlier this year, the show’s host, Gordon Ramsay, and former MasterChef Junior competitors recorded a touching video message wishing the young chef a speedy recovery.

Watkins’s death hits his family just three years after his parents were killed in a murder-suicide tragedy in 2017, just after he had finished filming the show. The teen found a love for the kitchen from his parents who owned a restaurant and named it after him.

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A GoFundMe page that was originally set up to cover medical expenses has now been updated as a memorial fund. To date, the fundraiser has pulled in over $190,000.

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.

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