On Friday, Pakistani-American top Chef contestant Fatima Ali passed away on Friday after nearly a year-long battle with cancer.
She was 29 of years age.
Ali, who moved to New York at the age of 18, rose to fame on Bravo’s Top Chef where she came in seventh on season 15 but won the Fan Favorite title when the season ended early last year. She was known for her “fun personality and excellent cooking” of food.
She was diagnosed with cancer at the end of 2017 with Ewing’s sarcoma, a type of bone and soft tissue cancer. She had chemotherapy and surgery to remove a tumor and surrounding cells in her left shoulder in January 2018.
Fatima’s family took to her Instagram and shared a collage of her photos through the years and wrote: Fatima was at home with us, surrounded by her loved ones and beloved cat Mr Meow, when she left us in the early hours of the morning. When someone as bright and young and vivacious as our Fati passes, the only metaphor that seems to fit is that of a star —a beacon in the darkness, a light that guides us, on which to make wishes, from which to weave dreams. For all the comfort and beauty they offer us, stars, too, are impermanent. This morning a great one was snuffed out.
“Though she’s no longer here with us, her spirit will continue to steer us. We hope that you, too, will listen to her lessons: Live your life as she did — to the fullest. Pursue your passion; spread love and joy; be kind and forgiving; be generous; enjoy every morsel — from humble street food to decadent fine dining; cook for the people you love. Travel the world and seek out adventure. Help others and don’t be afraid to take the road less taken. Fatima will always be a part of us, and in fact if you look deep enough, you may find your own inner Fati. If you’re lucky enough to find her there, trust her, listen to her, because she will change your life for the better.”
The post continued, “We’ve learned a great deal over the course of her illness, not only pragmatic lessons we wish we hadn’t needed to learn about her disease and our health system, but about the immense love of which people are capable; about the power of being true to yourself; about how we can be better if we model ourselves after someone like her.