KARACHI: Pakistani-American chef Fatima Ali — known for her 2017 appearance on popular US television series Top Chef — passed away on Friday after losing a long 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 at the 15th season of the American reality series, confirmed in a statement shared on social media.
Fatima had appeared on season 15 of the reality competition show as a contestant and was diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer — Ewing’s Sarcoma — right after. Chemotherapy appeared to benefit her initially but cancer returned in September last year with doctors telling her it had metastasised. The 29-year-old chef, who was voted ‘fan favourite’ on Top Chef, had in October 2018 penned an op-ed for Bon Appetit, in which she shared that she had a year to live and intended to use it to make amends with the people in her life and to sample the finest food all over the world.
In November, she had appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show to talk about how she was dealing with her terminal cancer diagnosis.
Fatima had then said her plan was to travel the world to dine at the best restaurants. Her friends from Top Chef had started a “GoFundMe” page to help her fulfil her wishes.
On Jan 11, she had shared an update about her health in what would be her last Instagram post.
“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,” she wrote.
Published in Dawn, January 27th, 2019