13-Year-Old ‘Masterchef Junior’ Alum Ben Watkins Diagnosed With Tumor 3 Years After His Parents’ Deaths

Share on Facebook

Today, it was announced that the thirteen-year-old MasterChef Junior star was diagnosed with an incredibly rare form of cancer.

Because, out of all the illnesses in the world, cancer is by far one of the most deadly.

And the numbers of those being diagnosed with the illness keep on rising every year. In 2019, an estimated 1.8 million cases of cancer were diagnosed in the United States alone.

An estimated 606,880 sadly passed away.

Medical researchers have been working hard for decades to find a cure for the illness and, so far, they have had no luck.

And, more often than not, they involve children.

Ben Watkins gained viral fame when he starred in the sixth season of MasterChef Junior, at the age of eleven-years-old.

And, after impressing the panel of celebrity judges comprised of Gordon Ramsay, Christina Tosi, and Aarón Sanchez, he eventually made it to the top eighteen.

In September 2017, his father, Michael Watkins, forty-six, shot and killed Ben’s mother Leila, forty-three, before taking his own life in their home, according to the Chicago Tribune.

The tragedy occurred while Ben was filming for MasterChef Junior

And his grandmother and uncle now serve as his legal guardians.    

Ben has now received some damning news about his own health.

AFH is a rare soft tissue tumor that mostly occurs in children and young adults.

This type of cancer is that rare…

That Ben is “one of only 6 people in the entire world” to have it, his grandmother revealed in their announcement.

But these tumors are usually treated with surgical excision and possible follow-up chemotherapy.

And they have also launched a GoFundMe page to help cover his medical costs and education fees for the future.

“Ben is an aspiring chef and opened Big Ben’s Bodacious BBQ and Delicatessen in the Miller Community of Gary, Indiana with his late parents, Leila Edwards and Mike Watkins… 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.”

“Members of the community have joined together to see that the life challenges that Ben has gone through does not derail him from reaching his full potential and fulfilling his dreams.”

“We want Ben to be able to continue his education in the culinary arts and/or Engineering wherever he wants to in the world. On behalf of Grandma Donna and Uncle Anthony, thank you for your #Love4Ben!”

If you would like to donate, you can do so here.

Let’s hope he’s back in the kitchen very soon. For more on the devastating reality of cancer, keep scrolling to read about the TV reporter who was alerted to her own tumor by an eagle-eyed viewer…