"MasterChef Junior" star Ben Watkins is facing another battle after being diagnosed with a rare illness.
Following the tragic death of his parents in 2017, the aspiring chef "is one of only six people in the entire world" diagnosed with Angiomatoid Fibrous Histiocytoma, as mentioned by his family in a GoFundMe campaign.
GoFundMe Campaign #Love4Ben
The said online fundraising named #Love4Ben has been re-launched by his grandmother and uncle to help them cover his medical bills and for his future education.
"Shortly after his 13th birthday, Ben was diagnosed with a rare illness called Angiomatoid Fibrous Histiocytoma, a soft tissue tumor usually in children and young adults. Young 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," the campaign description stated.
According to Mayo Clinic, AFH is a rare tumor that typically occurs "in the superficial soft tissues of the extremities in children and young adults."
The symptoms include weight loss, anemia, and fever for minor cases, while patients with severe cases may experience pain or tenderness of the body.
Following the launch of his GoFundMe page, his uncle, Trent McCain, gave an update on Ben's health and mentioned that he is undergoing chemotherapy.
He also expressed his gratitude towards the "outpouring" support for his nephew.
"Thanks to the outpouring of #Love4Ben, we have reached 25% of our goal! Thank you so very much for your generosity. Ben started chemotherapy today and this is sure to lift his spirits!" McCain said.
As of this writing, the fundraising has reached more than $87,000 with a goal of $250,000.
Some of his friends and fans took to the comments section to give the 13-year-old their well-wishes and support.
"Don't lose heart, Ben. God is with you and your mother is looking down on you. You will make them proud. Get well soon. Grace and Peace through Our Lord Jesus Christ," one supporter wrote.
Another fan, who goes by the name of Christopher Smith, wrote: "Reading the current situation Ben is in makes me realize how privileged I am to be in the situation I am in. Even with his current situation, he still is living his life, not bathing in self-pity, but doing what he wants to do and living his life and trying to achieve His dream he is an inspiration, to say the least :) and I hope that he gets better from this."
Watkins On MasterChef Junior Season Six
When he was 11 years old, Watkins joined as one of the 24 contestants in Fox's culinary show "MasterChef Junior Season 6." He landed in the Top 18.
In his interview with Chicago Tribune in 2017, he mentioned that his love for cooking and baking developed from his late parents, who used to own a barbecue restaurant.
Unfortunately, while filming the said show, Ben's parents died in a domestic violence incident which was reportedly ruled as a murder-suicide.
According to reports, Ben's father, Michael Watkins, shot and killed his wife Leila Edwards before taking his own life. It all happened amid their divorce issues.
Following the death of his parents, a trust fund was set up for Ben and was able to raise $30,000.