The Heartbreaking Death Of Chopped Junior Winner Fuller Goldsmith

Fuller Goldsmith, the young chef who won over audiences and judges on "Top Chef Junior" and "Chopped Junior," has died at the age of 17 (via People). Goldsmith was first diagnosed with leukemia when he was 3 years old, reports WBRC.

The production company of "Top Chef Junior," Magical Elves, confirmed the heartbreaking news in an October 6 Instagram post: "We are devastated after hearing about the loss of our Top Chef Junior alum, Fuller Goldsmith. He was an incredible chef and the strongest kid we've ever met. From the minute he was introduced to us, we knew he would make an impact on everyone around him and be a positive force in cooking world. To his family, we give all our love as they mourn the loss of someone truly special."

Goldsmith had competed in both cooking shows when he was just 13, becoming the "Chopped Junior" champion on the episode "Fry Fans" (via Hollywood Life). He told Food Network, "Cooking became my passion when I was diagnosed with cancer. ...Even though I'm in remission, I'm still on steroids, which cause swelling. But every time I cook, I always feel great" (via WBRC).

Fuller Goldsmith pursued his dream until the end

Fuller Goldsmith's diagnosis of acute lymphoblastic leukemia when he was 3 (via Hollywood Life) didn't stop him from having an impact on the world with his culinary skills and infectious positivity. His cancer was in remission when he won "Chopped," but in an Instagram post earlier this year, the young chef revealed that it had come back. "Unfortunately the news regarding the tumor was not what I was hoping. The same Leukemia is back. The plan is to start proton radiation at UAB as soon as I can.... hopefully within the next two weeks.... Round 5- I'm ready to fight!"

His unbreakable spirit will be remembered by the people who encountered him. "Top Chef Junior" host Vanessa Lachey commented on the Magical Elves' post, "We all Loved Fuller so much! And will never forget his contagious smile, laugh and butter tricks. Sending so much Love to his family. We will never forget you Fuller!"

Goldsmith worked at Southern Ale House in Tuscaloosa, Alabama (via Facebook), pursuing his dream up to the very end. The motivation behind his love of cooking was simple, yet profound. He told WBRC, "I just like to make people happy with my food and stuff."