Top Chef Star Fatima Ali Dead at 29 After Cancer Battle

The young chef was diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer

By Cydney Contreras Jan 25, 2019 8:40 PMTags
Fatima Ali, Top ChefTommy Garcia/Bravo

Fatima Ali has lost her battle with cancer.

The former Top Chef contestant died on Friday, Jan. 25 at the age of 29-years-old. She was diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer named Ewing Sarcoma in 2017, and briefly went into remission in July. But in October the cancer returned and Fatima was given the prognosis that she only had a year to live.

Sadly, just three months later, in the beginning of January, the reality star shared that her health was rapidly deteriorating. "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," the chef shared. "Right now all I need are prayers; prayers that are simple."

She added, "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."

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And in her last statements to the world, Fatima expressed her thanks "a million times over for when you have given me joy." She hoped to keep her fans up to date as the illness progressed. That was only two weeks ago.

In her last months, the 29-year-old began to cross important items off of her bucket list. She was fortunate enough to see the musical Hamilton with her family and had the opportunity to meet the cast of the critically-acclaimed play. "I don't have words to express how grateful I am that these doors keep opening in the most unexpected ways. What a brilliant production—we left in awe of what humans are capable of. Talent and kindness all in one night. I couldn't ask for more," she wrote after meeting the cast. 

Moreover, the star had plans to visit the world's most famous restaurants. Ellen DeGeneres gave the Top Chef contestant $50,000 to travel the world in November. The Pakistani-American chef planned to visit famous restaurants in France, Italy, South African and Spain, and even invited Ellen and her wife Portia De Rossi to join her. 

Unfortunately, as her sickness progressed, the star was unable to dine at all the places she hoped to. 

In a statement from the Top Chef family, they said, "We are deeply saddened to share the news that Fatima Ali has lost her courageous battle with cancer. Our thoughts are with her family and friends at this time. People not only fell in love with her cooking, but fell in love with her personality and heart. We hope that the beautiful memories shared with her will provide comfort to everyone who knew and loved her."

Fellow Top Chef star Bruce Kalman took to Instagram on Friday to mourn the loss of Chef Fati. "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," he wrote. 

Our thoughts go out to her family.