Former Top Chef competitor Fatima Ali received a life-altering diagnosis in 2017. At only 29-years-old Ali was told she had Ewing’s sarcoma, an often deadly form of bone cancer. She did all she could to fight the diagnosis by undergoing various cancer treatments. While it was thought she might pull through, the cancer later returned. Unfortunately, In September her doctors gave her just a year left to live, according to Today.
While most would crumble in despair upon receiving such a prognosis, Ali is not an average person. Rather than give in to grief, the chef has decided to make the most of the time she has left by living her life to the fullest. Ali was of course rattled upon first receiving her diagnosis, calling it “the biggest shock of my life.” However, she realized that by rallying loved ones around her and focusing on positivity, she could make her last year on Earth the best year yet.
Ali has a long list of plans for the next year, including traveling the world and eating at all the best restaurants she can find. “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 said. She received help on her quest from Ellen DeGeneres who provided her a check for $50,000 after welcoming her on her show.
One other thing she’d like to accomplish this year is completing a book. She turned to Instagram to ask friends what they’d like to read about. “I’m contemplating writing a short book, or collection of essays or something,” she wrote. “Question is: would you read it? What kinds of things would you want to learn about me, if anything?” Hundreds of comments of encouragement came rolling in from fans all over the world. Most people were interested in learning more about the empowering chef personally, including her background and how she finds her incredible strength.
Her book will likely be made up of a collection of short essays about her past and how she came to terms with her diagnosis. She may even decide to throw in a few of her most favorite recipes. While Ali now has the opportunity to live life the way she always dreamed of, she encourages others not to wait until they’re dying to live their fullest life. You never know what tomorrow brings.