Watkins, who competed in the sixth season of the US competition, died Monday, Nov. 16 after a year-and-a-half battle with cancer.
The news was announced by her grandmother and uncle via their lawyer, Trent McCain, who wrote: “After losing both parents in September 2017, we marveled at the strength, courage and love. of Ben for life.
“He never complained. Ben was and always will be the strongest person we know.
Watkins, whose parents died in a murder-suicide three years ago, was diagnosed with angiomatoid fibrous histiocytoma earlier this year.
The soft tissue tumor is incredibly rare and has only affected six people.
He appeared on MasterChef Junior when he was 11, and was known for his daring dishes that won accolades from British chef Gordon Ramsay.
Ramsay paid tribute to Watkins on Twitter, calling him “an incredibly talented home cook and an even stronger young man.” Find his full message here.
“Sending all the love to the family of Ben Watkins with this terrible Gx loss. “
Fox, the network that airs the series in the United States, wrote: “It is with great sadness that we mourn the passing of Ben Watkins, a beloved member of the MasterChef Junior family. Ben has overcome so much in his life with a remarkably positive attitude.
“He was a great role model for chefs of all ages and will be sadly missed by everyone at EndemolShine North America and FOX Entertainment.”
Her grandmother set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for the treatment, which you can find here.