Sad news. Top Chef alum, Fatima Ali, passed away Friday after a yearlong battle with cancer.
Ali, 29, appeared on the 15th season of the Bravo reality series and won the “Fan Favorite” title when the season wrapped early last year. She was known for her “fun personality and excellent cooking” of food from her native Pakistan, Bravo said in a statement.
Ali publicly documented her battle with cancer since being diagnosed at the end of 2017 with Ewing’s sarcoma, a type of bone and soft tissue cancer. She had chemotherapy and surgery to remove a tumor and surrounding cells in her left shoulder in January 2018.
Doctors declared her cancer-free about a month later, but in October 2018, Ali revealed that her cancer was “back with a vengeance” and she had a year to live.
“It’s funny, isn’t it? When we think we have all the time in the world to live, we forget to indulge in the experiences of living,” Ali wrote on the website Healthyish. “When that choice is yanked away from us, that’s when we scramble to feel. I am desperate to overload my senses in the coming months, making reservations at the world’s best restaurants, reaching out to past lovers and friends, and smothering my family, giving them the time that I so selfishly guarded before.”
Ali left her hometown at the age of 18 to pursue her dream of becoming a chef. She enrolled in the Culinary Institute of America and started working in New York restaurants, eventually becoming executive sous chef at Macy’s Stella 34 and La Fonda Del Sol, Bravo said.
She was a contestant on the Food Network show “Chopped” in 2012 and won.
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Sorry I’ve been MIA for the past few weeks. My last round of chemotherapy is DONE. After being hospitalized for acute pain in my lower back that they now think could be chemo related bone necrosis, my docs recommended that I not take my last scheduled dose and I’m more than happy to oblige. I’m back home, my hair is growing and I need a few more weeks rest before I can get back into gear. As for the bit about my bone dying, I had no idea that could even happen. But hey at least the cancers not back 🖕🏽 #fuckcancer #byechemo
On January 10, Ali Instagrammed heartbreaking news, “I’m sick and unfortunately I’m getting sicker,” she wrote. “Right now all I need are prayers; prayers that are simple. I hope, because a wish is putting on too much responsibility on the other, that you will somehow find forgiveness in your big heart for whenever I must have hurt you.I thank you a million times over for when you have given me joy. I’ll try to keep everyone updated the best that I possibly can.”
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I know it’s been ages since I posted and most may have figured out why. I’m sick and unfortunately I’m getting sicker. Right now all I need are prayers; prayers that are simple. I hope, because a wish is putting on too much responsibility on the other, that you will somehow find forgiveness in your big heart for whenever I must have hurt you. I thank you a million times over for when you have given me joy. I’ll try to keep everyone updated the best that I possibly can.
Our deepest condolences go out to Fatima Ali’s family and friends during their time of mourning.