If you’re a fan of the acclaimed Bravo cooking competition Top Chef, then you may have already heard the tragic news that beloved former contestant Fatima Ali has been diagnosed with terminal cancer.
Ali revealed her diagnosis Tuesday in a heartbreaking essay published by Bon Appetit.
“My oncologist has told me that I have a year to live, with or without the new chemotherapy regimen,” Ali wrote.
“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.”
“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.”
Displaying the trademark wit that made her a fan favorite during her time on the show, Ali added:
“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.”
In the hours after Chef Fatima’s article was published, thousands offered words of gratitude and support on social media, including her Top Chef co-stars:
“This is my friend, she is courage, strength and she wrote a piece almost as beautiful as she is, link is in my bio please read and share #teamfati,” wrote Top Chef Season 15 champion Joe Flamm.
“Can’t even begin to say how devastated I am to hear this news, it really hit me hard! No one truly can understand the bond created through @bravotopchef we’ve become a close knit family very quickly,” fellow chef Bruce Kalman wrote.
“I’m so inspired by @cheffati bravery and positive outlook on this situation.
“The deep connection and love we all have for each other, for better or worse, is unrivaled. Life is too short and it’s time we all appreciated everyone and everything in our lives.”
Just days before she revealed that her illness had reached the terminal stage, Ali posted the above video of her co-stars wishing her well from an event in Connecticut that she had been unable to attend.
We hope Fatima finds comfort in knowing that she will receive such love and support in her final days — and joy in knowing that she’s been an inspiration to so many.
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