Former Top Chef Contestant Reveals She Has Just a Year to Live

Fatima Ali writes an essay about how she's spending the time she has left
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 11, 2018 5:15 PM CDT
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This May 9, 2017 photo released by Bravo shows cooking contestant Fatima Ali during season 15 of the competition series, "Top Chef," in Denver.   (Tommy Garcia/Bravo via AP)
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(Newser) – Former Top Chef contestant Fatima Ali says she has a year to live. The 29-year-old, who appeared on Season 15 of the Bravo reality competition, underwent surgery to remove a tumor in January. However, Ali wrote Tuesday in an essay for Bon Appetit that the "cancer cells my doctors believed had vanished are back with a vengeance in my lift hip and femur bone." Ali says her oncologist told her she has a year to live, "with or without the new chemotherapy regimen." She writes she used to dream of owning her own restaurant, but now she has a growing list of restaurants to visit and is "sketching a plan" to eat her way through New York while she still can, the AP reports.

"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," she writes. "It’s funny, isn’t it? 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. 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."

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