Friends Launch GoFundMe for Dying ‘Top Chef’ Contestant Fatima Ali
Season 15 “Top Chef” contestant Fatima Ali’s cancer has returned. The 29-year-old has been battling Ewing’s sarcoma since last year; she was declared cancer-free in February of this year, but she recently revealed that she has now been told she has only a year to live. In response, a GoFundMe campaign has been started for the chef by friend and fellow “Top Chef” season 15 star Adrienne Cheatham, to help Ali afford her dream of traveling and eating around the world.
In Ali’s piece for Bon Appetit, in which she details what she would like to do with the time she has left, she writes that she wants to visit restaurants from Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare to “spice-laden” Szechuan hot pot restaurants in Flushing, Queens. But her friends and colleagues have organized a GoFundMe campaign to help her do one better.
“Team Fati” was created October 10 and has already received over $54,000 of its $150,000 goal to fund the chef’s food adventure around the world. According to the page, over 1,200 people donated funds in just 24 hours. “We all got to know and love Chef Fati during season 15 of 'Top Chef,'” the description for the fundraiser reads. “Her talent, smile, energy, and amazing personality are all reasons that she became our fan favorite. After the show, Fati was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma, a rare type of cancer that affects bone and soft tissue. She put her dreams of opening a restaurant, and life on hold while she went through treatment.”
“Let’s join together in helping Fati experience all that life has to offer this year. She has so bravely and courageously shared so much of herself with us, inspiring so many to keep fighting and reminding us to appreciate life. Let’s help her get the most out of the life she has been given!”
Comments have come pouring in on the fundraiser’s page calling Ali, who has been vocal about her illness and treatment on social media, an “inspiration,” and wishing her an enjoyable trip. The GoFundMe stipulates that 100 percent of the money raised will be given to Ali, and any money she does not use will be donated to the Sarcoma Foundation of America to help find a cure.