When Top Chef contestant Fatima Ali was diagnosed with terminal cancer in September, she vowed to use her final months to try as many new experiences — and new foods — as possible. During a visit to Ellen airing Friday, Ali shared her cancer story — and was given a $50,000 check to help make her food tour unforgettable. Watch the clip below.
Chef Ali, 29, was voted “fan favorite” during the most recent series of the long-running cooking competition. But just months after filming, she went to the doctor to check on a mysterious shoulder ache, and learned that she had Ewing’s sarcoma (a rare cancer that mostly effects white male children, a description that doesn’t match Ali at all).
After chemotherapy, she was declared “cancer free,” but an ache in her hip turned out to be the return of the disease. Ali was told this fall that the cancer had metastasized and she had only about a year to live.
It’s devastating news, but Ali is determined to make the most of the year ahead. Her Top Chef friends have started a GoFundMe to send her to all of her dream destinations, including the many great restaurants of Europe and South Africa. Via Ellen, Shutterfly offered an additional $50,000 toward filling Ali’s bucket list — which also happened to included a visit to Ellen. Hopefully, the hard year ahead is equally full of joy and surprises.
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