Celebrity | Reality

'Top Chef' Contestant Says She Has Less Than A Year To Live In Emotional Post

Tommy Garcia/Bravo, Fatima Ali/Instagram

For the past 12 years, millions of viewers have tuned in to watch Bravo's hit reality show, Top Chef.

Throughout the seasons, we've grown to love and loved to hate the slew of participants appearing in every season.

One chef who caught the public's eye was 30-year-old Fatima Ali from its 15th season.

Although Ali got cut after the seventh round, the contestant continued to share snapshots of her delicious food and snippets of her personal life.

Ali has kept her fans informed on her health after she revealed she had been diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma, a small and rare malignant tumor found in bones of soft tissue, following her exit from the show.

After months of chemotherapy and a surgery to remove a tumor from Ali's shoulder bone, doctors told her the tumors had "vanished."

But in September she was informed by her oncologist that the tumors had returned in her left hip and femur bone.

In a heartbreaking essay in Bon Appétit’s Healthyish section, Ali revealed her cancer had returned, and she only has one year to live.

"They think I’m brave, but really, I’m not."

In the New York-based chef's emotional piece, she revealed her cancer had "come back with a vengeance," and that her doctors told her she only has a year left, "with or without the new chemotherapy regimen."

"A cloud of death is following me. It’s followed me all the way to the first class lounge at LAX. I have never flown anything but basic economy on a domestic flight, but my illness has forced me to upgrade my life," Ali wrote.

"When we think we have all the time in the world to live, we forget to indulge in the experiences of living."

"When that choice is yanked away from us, that’s when we scramble to feel."

Although Ali's received outpouring support from her family, friends, and fans, she revealed in her essay that she's afraid for the inevitable.

"They think I’m brave, but really, I’m not. I’m scared. I suspect I won’t last very long," she said. "There’s a faint feeling deep inside my gut like a rumble of passing air, ever expanding and filling slowly until, one day, I’ll pop."

While having a terminal illness is a terrifying ordeal anyone has to go through, Ali said the cancer diagnosis has changed her perspective on life, adding that, "when you hit rock bottom, there really is no place to go but up."

"An odd sense of relief has settled inside me, knowing that I can finally live for myself, even if it’s just for a few more precious months," Ali admitted.

"I call a local hair stylist to come to my hospital room to dye half my hair platinum blonde and buzz the rest."

"Sometimes we need to rally, and this is one of those times."

The cast of Top Chef has rallied around her and have created a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for Ali to complete her bucket list of visiting all the restaurants she has dreamed of from across the world.

As of October 12, the fundraiser has raised more than $55,455 of its $150,000 goal. The page says while all of the proceeds with go directly to Ali, all of the leftover cash will go towards donated to the Sarcoma Foundation of America.

Several of the Top Chef contestants, including Adrienne Cheatham, Brother Luck and Brooke Williamson, along with the show's judge Gail Simmons have taken to social media to publicly support Ali.

"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!"

On October 10, Top Chef host Padma Lakshmi shared Ali’s essay on social media, and called her a friend.

"Since her diagnosis I have been fortunate enough to get to know her deeper and in a new light," Lakshim wrote on Instagram.

"I can tell you that in these months I have not only seen her continue to find her voice, but been inspired by her exponentially."

"I hope that this year brings her as much as she can hope for. You’ve said on the show that growing up I inspired you. But Fati, now, it’s you who inspire me. Everyday. I love you Fati."

[H/T: Global News, PEOPLE]

Our thoughts and prayers are with Fatima Ali and her loved ones during this difficult time.

Maya has been working at Shared for a year. She just begrudgingly spent $200 on a gym membership. Contact her at maya@shared.com