Top Chef Star Fatima Ali's Final Essay on Battling Cancer Before Her Death

The reality star wrote a powerful essay about her experience with cancer.

By Alyssa Morin Jan 27, 2019 11:15 PMTags
Fatima Ali, Top ChefTommy Garcia/Bravo

Fatima Ali wrote a powerful and moving essay three months before she lost her battle with cancer.

On Friday, Jan. 25, the Top Chef alum passed away from a rare form of bone cancer called Ewing's sarcoma. She was only 29-years-old. 

The reality TV star was candid about her experience with the disease, and opened up even more in an emotional essay for Bon Appétit

In it, she talks about her dreams, her love for food and her experience with cancer. 

"I'm using cancer as the excuse I needed to actually go and get things done, and the more people I share those thoughts with, the more I hold myself to them," she writes. "If I write this intention down, if I have it printed somewhere like I do here, I have to hold myself responsible, because I have people counting on me."

Adding, "What's my intention? To live my life. To fulfill all those genuine dreams I have. It's easy to spend weeks in my pajamas, curled up in my bed, watching Gossip Girl on Netflix. I could totally do that. And don't get me wrong, I still watch Gossip Girl. But now I'm doing things. I'm going to eat. I'm making plans for vacations. I'm finding my experimental treatments. I'm cooking. I'm writing."

Top Chef Star Fatima Ali Dead at 29 After Cancer Battle

In her essay, she also talks about the emotional effects of chemo, saying, "Honestly, until your first chemo cycle, I don't think it really hits you."

"Then your hair starts falling out, and finally you're like, 'This is actually happening. This is the rest of my life.' I did eight rounds of chemo. It was horrible, but at the end, my scans were all clear. I thought I'd beaten it. Then it came back. Worse than before. It was metastatic. It had spread to my lungs. The doctors told me I had one year to live."

The former Top Chef contestant briefly went into remission in July, but learned that the cancer had turned in October.

She was told she only had a year to live. Sadly, in the beginning of January, she revealed that she was "getting sicker."

You can read the full essay on Bon Appétit's website.

Our thoughts go out to Fatima's family and friends.