MasterChef Junior's Ben Watkins, 13, battles rare tumor, 3 years after his parents died in tragic murder-suicide
Ben is one of only six people in the entire world diagnosed with this illness
After losing both parents in 2017, 'Master Chef Junior' star Ben Watkins is now facing another tribulation. Ben was diagnosed with a rare disease, called Angiomatoid fibrous histiocytoma just days after his 13th birthday.
Now a GoFundMe fundraiser created by Trent A McCain states, "Ben is one of only six people in the entire world diagnosed with this illness. Ben is currently undergoing treatment at Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago." According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, "Angiomatoid fibrous histiocytoma (AFH) is a rare soft tissue tumor most commonly occurring in children, adolescents, and young adults."
After the news of his diagnosis with AFH was shared, the Chicago community and good samaritans are coming together to help through the online crowdfunding platform. According to the latest post they have received $45,664 out of their $130,000 goal. Trent further thanked people who supported the cause saying, "Thank you so very much for your generosity. Ben started chemotherapy today and this is sure to lift his spirits!". The page is filled with blessings from people all over the world, one of the donators commented "I want Ben to have the brightest future" and another one said, "I pray that GOD heals you."
The fundraiser for Ben was initially started in 2017, when in September, he lost both his parents Leila Edwards and Mike Watkins, in a murder-suicide. Mike shot and killed Ben's mother before taking his own life. A close relative from the family said that the couple was talking about getting a divorce earlier. After the incident, Ben moved to Miller from Chicago in 2001 with grandmother Donna and Uncle Anthony.
Ben had just shot MasterChef Junior's sixth season at the time of the tragic incident. It aired the following year on March 2, 2018 and fans donated $30,000 for a fundraising campaign called #Love4Ben toward a trust fund for young chef who was all of 11 when he went on the show. The fundraiser states "The #Love4Ben campaign was originally intended to support Ben and his family after the passing of his parents in 2017. Due to the generosity of so many, we were able to establish a trust fund of nearly $30,000 at Peoples Bank in Munster, Indiana. We want Ben to be able to continue his education in the culinary arts and/or Engineering wherever he wants to in the world."