The family of “Top Chef” contestant Fatima Ali, who died last week at age 29, paid tribute to her, according to reports.
Her family issued a statement to Bravo TV, the network that aired “Top Chef,” over the weekend. Ali died after losing a battle with Ewing’s sarcoma, a type of bone and soft tissue cancer.
“Fatima was at home with us, surrounded by her loved ones and beloved cat Mr. Meow, when she left us in the early hours of the morning,” said the statement.
View this post on Instagram
“When someone as bright and young and vivacious as our Fati passes, the only metaphor that seems to fit is that of a star—a beacon in the darkness, a light that guides us, on which to make wishes, from which to weave dreams. For all the comfort and beauty they offer us, stars, too, are impermanent. This morning a great one was snuffed out,” their statement continued.
They added that Ali’s spirit will be remembered and will “continue to steer us.”
“We hope that you, too, will listen to her lessons: Live your life as she did—to the fullest. Pursue your passion; spread love and joy; be kind and forgiving; be generous; enjoy every morsel—from humble street food to decadent fine dining; cook for the people you love,” said the statement.
“Travel the world and seek out adventure. Help others and don’t be afraid to take the road less taken. Fatima will always be a part of us, and in fact if you look deep enough, you may find your own inner Fati. If you’re lucky enough to find her there, trust her, listen to her, because she will change your life for the better.”
It’s with a heavy heart we say goodbye to Fatima Ali today, as she has lost her battle with cancer. I will miss you Fati, and you will be in my heart forever. I’ll always remember the great times we had, especially our interview during the tailgating e… https://t.co/GYTQWMwfvT pic.twitter.com/72uWNxL3g8
— Bruce Kalman (@chefbkalman) January 25, 2019
Ali came in seventh in season 15 of the popular reality TV show.
However, she was diagnosed with cancer in 2017 and had chemotherapy to remove a tumor in her left shoulder in January 2018, CNN reported.
She was declared cancer-free, but doctors told her sometime later that the cancer, according to her, was “back with a vengeance.”
“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,” Ali wrote on the Healthyish website at the time of her new diagnosis.
“When that choice is yanked away from us, that’s when we scramble to feel,” She continued. “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.”
Ali then posted photos of her cancer treatment on Instagram.
I was lucky to share this visit with Fatima. I wish I could have shared more. Sending so much love to her family. I hope they find comfort in knowing how much light she brought to the world. pic.twitter.com/0xAbZSjzFr
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) January 25, 2019
Fellow “Top Chef” contestants paid tribute to her.
“It’s with a heavy heart we say goodbye to Fatima Ali today, as she has lost her battle with cancer. I will miss you Fati, and you will be in my heart forever. I’ll always remember the great times we had,” contestant Bruce Kalman wrote. on social media.
Show host Ellen DeGeneres posted a comment on Twitter about her, posting a photo of Ali on her show as she was battling cancer.
“I was lucky to share this visit with Fatima. I wish I could have shared more. Sending so much love to her family. I hope they find comfort in knowing how much light she brought to the world,” DeGeneres tweeted.
The Top Chef star’s family confirmed that Fatima Ali lost her battle with cancer on Friday.
Ali’s family also thanked fans and friends for their support.
“We want to thank everyone from the bottom of our now broken hearts,” the family stated to Bravo.
What’s more, they said they’re “eternally grateful for the unending support, love, and generosity shown by people along the way—from random strangers we passed on the street who would tell her how much they admire and respect her; to all her doctors and nurses who did their best; the chefs and hospitality friends who are now part of our extended family; and the big wigs that reached out to see how they can make her dreams a reality.”
“This has been a truly humbling experience for us all and even in her last chapter as she began to leave us, Fatima showed us how we should live,” said the family.