Popular Top Chef contestant Fatima Ali said Tuesday that she has just a year to live and that her cancer cells “are back with a vengeance.”

Ali, voted fan favorite on season 15 of the Bravo cooking reality show that ended in March, wrote a letter about her diagnosis for Bon Appetit.

“My oncologist has told me that I have a year to live, with or without the new chemotherapy regimen,” she wrote. “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.”

“I am desperate to overload my senses in the coming months, making reservations at the world’s best restaurants, reaching out to past lovers and friends, and smothering my family, giving them the time that I so selfishly guarded before,” she added.

Ali, 29, once dreamed of opening her own restaurant. According to her Top Chef bio, she came to the United States from Pakistan at age 18, attended the Culinary Institute of America and worked her way up through the New York City restaurant business.


Ali also won an episode of Food Network’s Chopped, a cooking show about making meals out of random ingredients.

She was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma in late 2017 and later said she was cancer-free after undergoing chemotherapy and surgery. But in September, she was told that the cancer had spread.

“I’m scared. I suspect I won’t last very long,” she wrote. “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.”

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