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Gordon Ramsay is infamously tough on his contestants in Hell's Kitchen, but he showed a much kinder side when he donated $50,000 to MasterChef Junior contestant Ben Watkins, as the 14-year-old underwent treatment for cancer.
Watkins, who was 14, died November 16 at Lurie Chidren's Hospital of Chicago. He lost his battle with a rare illness called Angiomatoid Fibrous Histiocytoma.
Watkins, who appeared in season six of the USA competition, died on Monday (16 November) after a year-and-a-half long cancer battle.
Watkins competed in Season 6 of "MasterChef Junior", ending within the high 18 spots when he was simply 11 years previous. His death comes just three years after he lost both his parents in a murder/suicide.
Ben lived with the Edwards' after his father, Michael Watkins, shot and killed the teen's mother, Leila Edwards, in a murder-suicide in their home in 2017. He was cared for by his uncle after his surgery, the family's attorney, Trent A. McCain, said. "Ben was and will always be the strongest person we know".
During that same time, he sent a video message to Watkins, saying, "If you can beat me in the "MasterChef Junior" kitchen, trust me, you can beat this".
"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", the statement continued.
"We can not thank this community enough for holding out family up in prayer and for all that you've done".
Ramsay posted a tribute to Watkins the day after the young cook died, but he also made a $50,000 donation back in August.
After the news spread that Watkins had died, Ramsay paid tribute to the young cook and baker on November 17 with identical social media posts on Twitter and Instagram. "Heartbroken today losing my little mate, sending all my love to Ben Watkins' family with this bad loss Gx".
Sources tell the outlet Ramsay pledged the money to help Watkins, who was diagnosed with Angiomatoid Fibrous Histiocytoma aged 13, seek out the best treatment possible. "God bless, and plenty of love, buddy".