Things That Matter

Ben Watkins Of ‘MasterChef Junior’ Has Died From A Rare Form Of Cancer

The “MasterChef Junior” family is sadly in mourning.

Ben Watkins, a fan-favorite contestant on the show for children who love to cook, has died. Watkins was just 14. He passed away on Monday, after a year-long battle of fighting a rare form of cancer.

According to Chicago Tribune Watkins passed away after struggling with a rare form of cancer for a year and a half.

MasterChef Junior/ FOX

Just three years after Watkins lost both of his parents to a domestic violence incident, the teen’s family is being forced to say ‘goodbye’ to him. Watkins uncle Anthony Edwards and grandmother Donna Edwards issued a statement on Monday that said their beloved family member had gone “home to be with his mother.”

“After losing both of his parents in September 2017, we have marveled at Ben’s strength, courage and love for life. 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,” the statement, which was shared on a GoFundMe campaign page, stated. “We cannot thank this community enough for holding our family up in prayer and for all that you’ve done. 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. #Love4Ben.”

Watkins was diagnosed last year with Angiomatoid Fibrous Histiocytoma, just days before his 13th birthday.

MasterChef Junior

Angiomatoid Fibrous Histiocytoma is a rare soft tissue cancer. It occurs in only a small number of children and young adults and is characterized by cystic blood-filled spaces and made up of histiocyte-like cells.

“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. Despite all of Ben’s trials and tribulations, he remains positive and looks forward to getting back in the kitchen and pursuing his dream to become an Engineer.   Members of the community have joined together to see that the life challenges that Ben has gone through does not derail him from reaching his full potential and fulfilling his dreams,” the statement concluded.

According to Chicago Tribune, Watkin’s had a golf-ball-sized tumor in his neck that had grown into a grapefruit-sized mass. Watkins underwent chemotherapy treatment for tumors located on his lungs, spine, and shoulder.

“Despite all the pain and sickness Ben went through, he never complained, not once,” Edwards told the Chicago Tribune. “We were praying for a different outcome. But Ben’s lungs could no longer give him the air he needed to breathe. It’s been devastating.”

According to the Chicago Tribune, “When Ben was first diagnosed, one of his doctors began writing a medical paper on Ben’s rare disease. Adhering to privacy rules, the doctor didn’t use Ben’s name. You can use my name,” Ben told the doctor. ‘Do whatever it takes. I don’t want another kid to have to go through what I’m going through.’ Ben and his family also consented for tissue to be extracted from his cancerous tumors after his death, to be shared with researchers. By doing so, Ben’s altruistic legacy will continue in the medical community as well as in his family.”

Speaking about his nephew, Edwards told Chicago Times that “Ben will always be our superhero.”

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Comedian Joe ‘El Cholo’ Luna Dies From COVID-19 Just Days After He Posts a Video Describing His ‘Journey’ on Instagram

Things That Matter

Comedian Joe ‘El Cholo’ Luna Dies From COVID-19 Just Days After He Posts a Video Describing His ‘Journey’ on Instagram

Photo: joeelcholo/Instagram

Another day, another tragic COVID-19 related death. On November 3rd, a Los Angeles comedian Joe “El Cholo” Luna passed away from the coronavirus.

Throughout his battle with COVID-19, Luna documented his struggle through social media.

Just two days before he passed away, Luna posted a video on Instagram chronicling his COVID-19 journey. He shared the video with his followers for “educational purposes”. In the video, Luna got extremely candid about the realities of the deadly illness.

“Let me tell you, man, when I would hear people talk about what COVID did to them, I always said to myself, ‘You know what? I doubt it’s that bad’,” he says in the video. “I’ll tell you guys right now, I’ve been putting up a fight. I’ve been fighting for my life for the last week or so, man. This COVID shit is no joke.”

Luna described his symptoms: losing his taste and smell, fainting, having trouble breathing, fevers, chills, chest pains. He also contracted pneumonia. At one point, he even lost consciousness.

Luna explained that he had been discharged from the hospital a few days ago simply to be taken back to the hospital via an ambulance. “I ended up passing out,” he said in the clip.

He also revealed that his mother, his girlfriend, and his children had tested positive for the virus. His mother was also hospitalized with COVID-19 and pneumonia.

Luna was a diabetic and had previously lost both of his legs due to the disease. According to him, COVID-19 hit him especially hard due to his preexisting conditions.

Luna’s family and community mourn the loss of a vibrant man who had been full of humor and light when he was alive.

“We are currently all mourning him because not only was he a great son, dad, hubby but also a best friend to many of us,” wrote Blanca Castro on his GoFundMe page.

She continued: “He fought hard after losing both legs to stay ok. He fought hard with the everyday pain. He was my comedian superhero. Even when he was hurting he managed to put a smile on our faces.”

Because of his father’s bright spirit, his family insists on celebrating his death the way he would have wanted: with humor. “For his funeral, he doesn’t want anyone crying so we’re going to put together a show because that’s what he would have wanted,” said his son, Jose Talavera, to Fox 11 News. “He wanted people to be laughing and having fun,” said Talavera.

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A Bride Tested Positive For Covid Three Days Before Her Wedding So They Improvised

Culture

A Bride Tested Positive For Covid Three Days Before Her Wedding So They Improvised

Maxwell Monty EyeEm / Getty Images

Your wedding day is something so many people plan for years. Things always come up that change plans or even ruin the whole day. One bride in California had a moment that could have ruined her big day but she made the most of it.

A bride in California tested positive for Covid three days before her wedding and that didn’t stop her.

Lauren Jimenez and Patrick Delgado were getting closer to their forever fairy tale and then Covid struck. Jimenez tested positive three days before getting married and it seemed like all chances of an in-person event were off. The bride and groom considered calling it off to protect the health of their loved ones until Jimenez had an idea.

“I was like maybe we can somehow get married with me in the window. It’ll be like a fairy tale, I guess,” Jimenez told ABC 7.

The wedding became a real-life fairy tale that looks so much like Rapunzel.

Instead of hair, Jimenez and Delgado got married using a rope that was tied together by her aunt. The rope connected the two while Jimenez sat at the window of her bedroom on the second story of her parents’ home. Delgado told NBC News that he was saddened when the wedding day approached because everything was being canceled due to Jimenez’s Covid diagnosis.

The wedding is being called one of the most 2020 weddings.

What do you do if you test positive three days before your wedding, but everyone else around you is negative? Let’s up…

Posted by Jesscaste Photography on Sunday, November 22, 2020

The image of a bride and groom marrying while social distancing is the epitome of this crazy time for the world. While romantic and beautiful, the photos are a stunning reminder of the full scale of this viral outbreak and how much it has interrupted everyday life. Guests in the photographs are all wearing masks and there is no physical contact among anyone. It is a surreal sight to see a family come together for a distanced and contact-less wedding.

Cities and counties around the country are going back into lockdowns as cases start to surge. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti recently put the city back on a strict lockdown and told residents that it is “time to cancel everything.”

The Delgados’ wedding is a touching reminder of the power of love.

Nothing could keep these two from tying the knot and proclaiming their love to those closest to them. The wedding is one that everyone, not just the family, will remember for a very long time to come. Once the world moves forward and the vaccine is distributed we will all look back on the time we saw a woman get married from a bedroom window.

According to ABC 7, Jimenez went straight to bed right after the wedding was over. The couple is still distanced as the new wife recovers from the virus before reuniting with her husband.

Congratulations on your wedding! We wish you years of happiness.

READ: California Groomed Killed At His Own Wedding By Alleged Party Crashers

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