Fatima Ali, Beloved Top Chef Star, Reveals Terminal Cancer Diagnosis
Fatima Ali is in need of your prayers.
The former Top Chef contestant, whose personality made her into a fan favorite on Season 15, has penned a powerful and emotional essay.
In it, Ali reveals that she has cancer — and will almost certainly be dead in a year.
“The cancer cells my doctors believed had vanished are back with a vengeance in my left hip and femur bone,” wrote the 29-year old on Tuesday wrote in a post published by Bon Appétit’s Healthyish.
In heartbreaking detail, she proceeded to give fans her diagnosis:
“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. I have no time to lose.”
We have no idea how Ali, or anyone in her situation, can joke at a time like this.
It’s the epitome of bravery.
“It’s funny, isn’t it?” continued the beloved reality star.
“When we think we have all the time in the world to live, we forget to indulge in the experiences of living.
“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.”
That’s what the song and the saying says, right?
To live like you are dying?
It really is tragic that only those actually dying typically have this kind of perspective.
Ali finished in seventh place on Top Chef.
In late 2017, she was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma, which is a type of bone and soft tissue cancer.
The aspiring chef underwent numerous rounds of chemotherapy prior to having the tumor in her left shoulder surgically removed.
This is a photo of Ali and Padma Lakshmi in the hospital from January of 2018.
She announced in February that she was cancer-free, yet started suffering complications after completing her final found of chemotherapy in August.
“I’ve spent more time in sterile hospital rooms in the past year than I have in my own apartment,” Ali wrote in her essay.
“This has become my new home, and the staff a part of my family…
“Everyone’s amazed that I’m taking it so well. But when you hit rock bottom, there really is no place to go but up.”
Ali doesn’t know how much time she has left for sure, but she plans to spend the final months of her life doing what she loves best: visiting new restaurants in New York City.
“I was always deathly afraid of being average in any way,” she concluded. “And now I desperately wish to have a simple, uneventful life.”
God bless her.