This is just heartbreaking. Former ‘Top Chef’ contestant Fatima Ali has died at the age of 29, following a long-standing cancer battle.
Fatima Ali, a fan favorite from the Bravo reality competition show ‘Top Chef’ has sadly died. The star, who appeared on the 15th season of the television cooking show, lost her battle with bone cancer on January 25 at the age of 29. TMZ broke the news. Top Chef alum Bruce Kalman confirmed the sad news with an Instagram post, writing, “It’s with a heavy heart we say goodbye to Fatima Ali today, as she has lost her battle with cancer. I will miss you Fati, and you will be in my heart forever. I’ll always remember the great times we had, especially our interview during the tailgating episode discussing football, stadiums, and Taylor Swift. Much love, Bruce.” Top Chef host Padma Lakshi hasn’t commented, but she announced her typical Facebook Live would be cancelled today due to “personal reasons.”
On Jan. 17, ‘Fati,’ as her friends and family lovingly called her, reunited with her ‘Top Chef’ fam for a “bittersweet reunion.” “These people are my people. Hard to explain the bonds that happen during our time together,” Claudette Wilkins wrote in a caption of the group together. “I wish they under better circumstances that we were together but when one hurts we all hurt and we rally. @cheffati is loved beyond belief and we will be here for her and each other.”
In addition to her time on Top Chef, Fatima was also a winner on the cooking competition show Chopped. Fatima also showed off her cooking chops as the sous chef at La Fonda Del Sol. It was after her stint on Top Chef that Fatima was first diagnosed with cancer, Ewing’s sarcoma, to be exact – a bone and soft tissue cancer. Although the chef declared she was cancer free in February of 2018, by October of the same year, she revealed her cancer had returned, this time, with a terminal prognosis.
Despite her ongoing battle with Cancer, Fatima managed to stay positive throughout her health struggles. She penned an essay for Bon Appetit magazine, about her experience with the disease. “The cancer cells my doctors believed had vanished are back with a vengeance in my left hip and femur bone,” she wrote in her essay. “My oncologist has told me that I have a year to live, with or without the new chemotherapy regimen. I was looking forward to being 30, flirty, and thriving. Guess I have to step it up on the flirting,” she joked. “I have no time to lose.”
Fatima shared a moving message on Jan. 10, thanking all of her fans and followers for prayers. “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,” she wrote.
Rest in peace to the beloved Top Chef star. Fatima’s friends and family are in our thoughts during this hard time.