Following Bravo's Top Chef contestant Fatima Ali confirming that her cancer has returned and she's been given a year to live, Padma Lakshmi, who has been one of the chef's most vocal supporters during her battle with cancer, is showing even more love and support for her friend in a touching tribute to the chef's courage and talent on Twitter.
"Dear friends, I have seen [Fatima] grow and blossom every day I walked into the [Bravo's Top Chef] kitchen. I have seen her ambition sharpen over weeks of competition, seen Fatima soar along with all of you," she wrote, adding, "Most of you will read [Fatima’s] writing for the first time in this [Bon Appetit] piece [in which she confirmed the diagnosis]. Since her diagnosis I have been fortunate enough to get to know her deeper and in a new light. Over these months, I have come to know her family."
Padma continued, "Her mother has shown me her older writing which is just as poignant. I am pleased to share my friend’s story with you all today. I am so proud of her. I can tell you that in these months I have not only seen her continue to find her voice, but been inspired by her exponentially."
In her essay about her health journey, Fatima confirmed that she learned of the prognosis in September. "The cancer cells my doctors believed had vanished are back with a vengeance in my left hip and femur bone. My oncologist has told me that I have a year to live, with or without the new chemotherapy regimen," Fatima wrote. "I was looking forward to being 30, flirty, and thriving. Guess I have to step it up on the flirting. I have no time to lose."
The Season 15 Fan Favorite winner was diagnosed with Ewing's sarcoma, a type of bone and soft tissue cancer, in late 2017. After going through several rounds of chemotherapy, Fatima underwent surgery to remove the tumor and surrounding cells in her left shoulder in January 2018. Fatima was then declared cancer-free by her doctors last winter. She later shared that she had suffered some complications after completing her last round of chemotherapy in August.
Below are more of Padma's tweets applauding the chef in the wake of the news:
Padma wrapped up the message with this heartwarming note: "You’ve said on [Bravo's Top Chef] that growing up I inspired you. But Fati, now, it’s you who inspire[s] me. Everyday. I love you, [Fatima]."
Below more Bravo's Top Chef folks open up about Fatima.