NEW YORK: Pakistani-American top chef Fatima Ali wrote a powerful and moving essay three months before she lost a prolonged battle with cancer on Friday.
Pakistan-origin ‘Top Chef’ Fatima Ali passed away from a rare form of bone cancer called Ewing’s sarcoma. She was only 29-years-old.
The reality TV star, whose death became top Google trending search, was candid about her experience with the disease, and opened up even more in an emotional essay for Bon Appétit.
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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. Right now all I need are prayers; prayers that are simple. 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. I thank you a million times over for when you have given me joy. I’ll try to keep everyone updated the best that I possibly can.
A statement was posted to Ali’s Instagram account Saturday, stating that she died at home while surrounded by her loved ones and cat, Mr. Meow.
“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,” the statement read. “For all the comfort and beauty they offer us, stars, too, are impermanent. This morning a great one was snuffed out.”
Top Chef alumna and fan favorite Fatima Ali has died after battle with cancer https://t.co/Oo2NH4sxVB
— MichelleCharlesworth (@mcharlesworth7) January 27, 2019
Ali’s friend, Alizah Raza, also posted the sad news on Instagram.
“Fatima Ali (Chef Fati!) and her brave battle with cancer ended today. Known for her win on Top Chef, but even more for her dynamic personality and hilarious wit, the young chef inspired thousands across borders,” Raza wrote. “Please recite a special prayer for her and her loved ones. May she rest in power.”
RIP Fatima Ali, Pakistan’s “Top Chef,” who died today after a long battle with cancer. We belong to God and to Him we shall return. pic.twitter.com/fwqJN0VRHj
— Jeremy McLellan (@JeremyMcLellan) January 25, 2019
Bruce Kalman, who competed on Ali’s season of “Top Chef,” added, “It’s with a heavy heart we say goodbye to Fatima Ali today, as she has lost her battle with cancer. I will miss you Fati, and you will be in my heart forever.”
Ughhh, fuuuuuuuck cancer. RIP to my favorite Top Chef competitor ever, Chef Fatima Ali. She was so great. pic.twitter.com/OvnKjUyvSk
— Vince Mancini (@VinceMancini) January 25, 2019
Ali made waves this past October when she penned a heartbreaking essay for Bon Appetit, revealing that the cancer she battled in 2017 had returned “with a vengeance.” She was told she had about a year to live at the time.
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In the candid piece, she spoke about upgrading her life and living it to the fullest with the time she had left.
“It’s funny, isn’t it?” she writes. “When we think we have all the time in the world to live, we forget to indulge in the experiences of living … 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.”