Top Chef Stars Raise Money to Give Fatima Ali the 'Year of a Lifetime' After Her Cancer Returns
Ali, 29—who was first diagnosed with Ewings Sarcoma last year, and had undergone surgery to remove a tumor in her shoulder bone in January—recently revealed in an emotional essay for Bon Appetit that her cancer was back “with a vengeance.” Because her oncologist told her she only has a year to live with or without chemotherapy, Ali wrote that she is “desperate to overload my senses in the coming months” by visiting some of the best restaurants in the world.
Now, her fellow chefs are making sure nothing keeps her from that dream. A GoFundMe campaign was started by #TeamFati on Wednesday and has since raised more than $40,000 towards a $150,000 goal. Ali will receive 100% of the money raised and anything she does not use will go towards the Sarcoma Foundation of America, according to the description.
“Sometimes we need to rally, and this is one of those times. Please help,” Cheatham wrote on Instagram. “It is [Fatima]’s dream to live to the fullest and visit as many places as she can with the time she has, let’s help her live it up!”
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“Let’s all help give @cheffati the year of a lifetime,” added Williamson.
Simmons praised Ali for being an “incredible chef, writer and friend, but also a brave warrior and all around outstanding human.”
Ali, who competed on the 15th season of the cooking competition show set in Colorado, detailed her plans for the future in her Bon Appetit essay, acknowledging that she is “scared” but has “an odd sense of relief” following the new diagnosis. “I can finally live for myself, even if it’s just for a few precious months.”