Ellen Degeneres pays a tearful tribute to ‘Top Chef’ Fatima Ali who died from cancer
Upon learning of Chef Fatima Ali's passing, famous host Ellen DeGeneres took to social media to share her condolences.
Ali, who suffered from Ewing's sarcoma, a bone cancer, drew her last breath on Friday, January 25, 2019, at the young age of 29, surrounded by family and friends.
DeGeneres had the opportunity to meet the Chef during an episode of her show and couldn't help but pay Ali a little tribute through her official Twitter page.
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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. 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. Though she’s no longer here with us, her spirit 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. 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. We’ve learned a great deal over the course of her illness, not only pragmatic lessons we wish we hadn’t needed to learn about her disease and our health system, but about the immense love of which people are capable; about the power of being true to yourself; about how we can be better if we model ourselves after someone like her. We want to thank everyone from the bottom of our now broken hearts. We’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.
A VERY SWEET GESTURE IN ALI'S MEMORY
The 61-year-old claimed that she was lucky to have been able to know Ali during her short but sweet visit to the show and wished that they could have spent more time together.
DeGeneres took the opportunity to send Ali's family much love, and hoped that they could "find comfort in knowing how much light she brought to the world."
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
The beautiful words were accompanied by a fantastic photo depicting a very happy Ali sitting next to the host during "The Ellen DeGeneres Show."
The news of the Chef's passing was also announced by fellow Chef Bruce Kalman, who was very close friends with Ali, through his Instagram account.
ALWAYS IN GOOD SPIRITS
Kalman shared a picture of himself with Ali at the hospital, and even though her hair was completely gone, it was obvious that her rebel and joyful spirit wasn't as she posed for the camera with her tongue sticking out.
"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."
Bruce Kalman, Instagram, January 25, 2019
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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 episode discussing football, stadiums, and Taylor Swift. Much love, Bruce 😘 #fuckcancer #cheffati #topchef #friends #family #itsnotfair
ALI'S PLEAD FOR FORGIVENESS
Ali, who was a Chef on Bravo's "Top Chef" season 15, wasn't as active on Instagram in the last few months of her life but she still managed to keep her fans updated.
On January 11, Ali took to her social media account to ask for prayers and to announce that her condition was declining. The late 29-year-old also asked for forgiveness from those who she may have hurt in the past.
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I know it’s been ages since I posted and most may have figured out why. I’m sick and unfortunately I’m getting sicker. Right now all I need are prayers; prayers that are simple. I hope, because a wish is putting on too much responsibility on the other, that you will somehow find forgiveness in your big heart for whenever I must have hurt you. I thank you a million times over for when you have given me joy. I’ll try to keep everyone updated the best that I possibly can.
MAKING THE MOST OUT OF HER FINAL DAYS
Ali was declared cancer-free in February 2018 but, unfortunately, the disease returned last fall and doctors told her that she only had one year to live.
It has been reported that Ali spent the last months of her life indulging in the things she always wanted to do, such as visiting special restaurants with her friends.