Earlier this week, we reported that former “MasterChef Junior” contestant Ben Watkins had died at the age of 14 after battling a rare form of cancer. Now, it’s been revealed that back in August, “MasterChef” host Gordon Ramsay donated $50,000 t0 help cover the teenager’s medical expenses.
A source confirmed to Entertainment Tonight that Ramsay donated money to help Watkins as he battled Angiomatoid Fibrous Histiocytoma, which is an extremely rare soft tissue tumor. After Watkins’ death on Monday, Ramsay took to Twitter to pay tribute to him.
“We lost a Master of the @MasterChefJrFOX kitchen today,” he wrote. “Ben you were an incredibly talented home cook and even stronger young man. Your young life had so many tough turns but you always persevered. Sending all the love to Ben Watkins’ family with this terrible loss Gx.”
We lost a Master of the @MasterChefJrFOX kitchen today. Ben you were an incredibly talented home cook and even stronger young man. Your young life had so many tough turns but you always persevered. Sending all the love to Ben Watkins’ family with this terrible loss Gx pic.twitter.com/RX81hP7lbw
— Gordon Ramsay (@GordonRamsay) November 17, 2020
Cancer was not the only difficult thing that Watkins went through during his life. In 2017, he lost both his parents in what was ruled a murder-suicide, with police saying that his father shot and killed his mother before killing himself at their home in Gary, Indiana. Watkins’ maternal grandmother and uncle referenced this tragedy in a statement announcing his death on a GoFundMe page that had been set up for him.
“After losing both of his parents in September 2017, we have marveled at Ben’s strength, courage and love for life,” they wrote. “He never, ever complained. Ben was and will always be the strongest person we know. When Ben’s rare illness was shared with the world, he was so heartened by the outpouring of love he received from every corner of the globe — especially here in his hometown of Gary, Indiana.”
At the time of his parents’ deaths, Watkins had just finished filming season 6 of “MasterChef Junior,” making it to the top 18 of the popular reality competition show.
“Ben suffered more than his share in his fourteen years on this Earth but we take solace in that his suffering is finally over, and in that, in the end, Ben knew he was loved by so many,” his grandmother and uncle continued.
Rest in peace, Ben Watkins.
This piece originally appeared in UpliftingToday.com and is used by permission.
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