Top Chef contestant Fatima Ali was recently told that she has only a year to live, and she has decided to enjoy every single moment until that year is over.
As reported by E! News, Ali was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma shortly after Top Chef ended, and although an initial round of chemo seemed to clear her of cancer, a short time later it had returned, and metastasized, with doctors ultimately signing her death warrant when they shared the news.
But instead of moping about and lamenting on everything she is going to miss out on, Ali has decided to complete her bucket list right now. On Friday, she appeared on the Ellen DeGeneres Show, where she told the popular comedian and talk show host about her battle with the disease, and her plans going forward.
“Right after filming Top Chef, it was supposed to be one of the most exciting times in my life. [Instead], I was in the hospital because I was newly diagnosed with Ewings Sarcoma. When I was diagnosed, it was obviously incredibly jarring. It was the biggest shock of my life. But, I knew the only way I was going to beat this was through positivity and rallying people around me.”
For the next year, Ali and her family plan on taking a world tour, on which she plans to sample “all this absolutely delicious food” in exotic locations. On her bucket list of countries are the likes of France, Italy, Spain, and South Africa, where she hopes to go on safari.
Ali also explained to DeGeneres how she had been diagnosed, detailing how she had ignored a dull pain in her shoulder for months before finally giving in and scheduling an MRI. Just four hours later, her doctor called her and told her that he needed to urgently refer her to an oncologist. After seeing the specialist and undergoing a biopsy, she was given the diagnosis of Ewing’s sarcoma, something that is rare in someone her age, gender, and even race. The disease is usually one that affects young Caucasian boys.
After beating the cancer the first time around, she started to notice a pain in her hip, and this time doctors told her that there was nothing more that they would be able to do to help her.
DeGeneres seemed in awe of Ali, and on the verge of tears as the 29-year-old explained how she was given a year to live.
“This is really hard. It’s never fair. Anyone who is dealing with anything, you just think, ‘This isn’t fair.’ But you get to live the way we’re all supposed to live. Who knows what tomorrow brings? You just so happen to have this diagnosis, but we all should be living like that, because none of us know what tomorrow is.”
Ali’s friends have started a GoFundMe to help pay for her dream world tour in the next year, and DeGeneres decided to add to the piggy bank through Shutterfly by pulling out an enormous check for $50,000 to donate to Ali.