“Top Chef” Star Fatima Ali Opens Up On Having One Year to Live


Former Top Chef contestant Fatima Ali had it all. She had a promising career, a loving family and a future that was quite bright. But then the unthinkable happened – cancer arrived.

Currently, the 29-year-old has been told she has one year to live.

“It was obviously incredibly jarring,” Ali says in an interview on The Ellen DeGeneres Show on Friday (Nov. 2) about the day she received the news that she had Ewing’s Sarcoma. “It was the biggest shock of my life, but I knew that the only way I was going to beat this was through positivity and rallying the people around me.”

And while she fought cancer and thought that it was going to go into remission, she began to experience pain again last July and found out that the cancer had returned.

“My doctors sat us and down, and they were like, ‘Look the cancer is back, it’s metastasized. The chemo has not worked,’” she recalls. “I looked at my doctor and I was like, ‘Tell me straight. How long do I have? He was like, ‘A year.’ It’s crazy. But life is crazy.”

And while no one knows the future that lies ahead of her, Ali remains hopeful and excited about the life that still lies ahead of her. She soon will embark on a trip that will take her around the world, eating at the most famous of restaurants and doing activities she once only dreamed of.

And at the same time, whether she knows it or not, she will teach us all how to live.


Tricia Despres
Tricia Despres is a Chicago-based freelance writer covering music and entertainment for nearly twenty years. Her work has appeared in publications such as the Chicago Sun-Times, Advertising Age and various regional publications. A country music fan at her core, Despres has interviewed country greats such as Luke Bryan, Jason Aldean and Carrie Underwood through the years and thrives on telling the story behind the story. When she is not alongside her laptop, she is alongside her family - husband Paul and daughters Taylor and Amanda.