Pakistani-American chef Fatima Ali, who appeared on US TV show Top Chef, has passed away after a prolonged battle with cancer.
“It’s with a heavy heart we say goodbye to Fatima Ali today, as she has lost her battle with cancer,” Bruce Kalman, her fellow contestant on the 15th season of the American reality series, confirmed in a statement shared on social media.
The 29-year-old was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma, a rare type of cancer that affects bone and soft tissue, shortly after wrapping up the filming of the show in 2017. She underwent aggressive treatment in the US and was even declared cancer-free in between.
On January 11, Ali uploaded what would be her last post on Instagram, asking fans for their prayers as her health deteriorated.
Shortly after Ali’s death, her family issued a statement on social media in her honour. “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,” it began. “When someone as bright, young and vivacious as Fati passes, the only metaphor that seems to fit is that of a star — a beacon in the darkness. For all the comfort and beauty they offer us, stars, too, are impermanent and this morning, a great one was snuffed out.”
The statement continued, “Though she’s no longer here, 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 and be generous. Fati will always be a part of us and if you look deep enough, you may find your own inner Fati.”
The family also thanked everyone for supporting Fati. “We want to thank everyone from the bottom of our now broken hearts. We’re eternally grateful for the love - from strangers on the street, all her doctors and nurses who did their best, the chefs and hospitality friends who are now our extended family and the big wigs that reached out to see how they can make Fati’s dreams a reality. This has been a truly humbling experience and even as she began to leave us, Fatima showed us how we should live.”
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