Top Chef’s Fatima Ali Says She’s Getting Sicker: ‘All I Need Are Prayers’


Top Chef alum Fatima Ali’s health has taken a turn. The chef, a fan favorite from the Bravo reality competition’s 15th season, says she needs prayers as she contends with terminal cancer.

“I know it’s been ages since I posted and most may have figured out why,” Ali, 29, wrote on Thursday, January 10, captioning an Instagram photo of herself in a hospital bed. “I’m sick and unfortunately I’m getting sicker. Right now all I need are prayers; prayers that are simple.”

She continued: “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.”

Commenters immediately posted messages of support, including Top Chef host Padma Lakshmi. “I’m coming boo!” the 48-year-old wrote. “Hold on tight!”

Ali, who’s also a Chopped winner, was diagnosed in late 2017 with Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare cancer affecting bone and soft tissue. In February 2018, she announced she was cancer-free after several rounds of chemo. But in an October 2018 essay in Bon Appétit’s Healthyish, Ali revealed her cancer had returned.

Top Chef’s Fatima Ali Says She’s Getting Sicker: ‘All I Need Are Prayers’
TOP CHEF — Episode 1501 — Pictured: (l-r) Tyler Anderson, Fatima Ali, Claudette Wilkins Paul Trantow/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

“The cancer cells my doctors believed had vanished are back with a vengeance in my left hip and femur bone,” she wrote at the time. “My oncologist has told me that I have a year to live, with or without the new chemotherapy regimen. I was looking forward to being 30, flirty and thriving. Guess I have to step it up on the flirting. I have no time to lose.”

In an exclusive interview with Us Weekly in October, the Pakistan-born chef raved about the support she had received from friends and family — particularly her mother and Lakshmi — and from strangers on social media.

“I can’t say that I have been surprised by anyone’s love, but I have been amazed by the sheer magnitude of care and outpour of messages from complete strangers,” she told Us. “Every day, between all my social media accounts, I have had people send me their own journey of battling cancer or that of their loved ones or even just a simple line of encouragement.”

Ali later revealed her future plans, telling fans she was thinking of writing a book and planning on “visiting new restaurants all around the world and getting my eat on.” A fellow season 15 cheftestant set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for Ali’s culinary bucket list, and the campaign has raised more than $96,000 so far.

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