11:21, January 26 44 0 usmagazine.com

2019-01-26 11:21:04

 

Fatima Ali Was ‘Surrounded by Her Loved Ones’ Before Her Death

Honoring her spirit. Fatima Ali’s family paid tribute to the Top Chef alum on Friday, January 25, hours after her death at age 29 following a battle with cancer.

“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,” a post on Ali’s Instagram account read. “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.”

The message continued: “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.”

The post went on to encourage fans to live by Ali’s example. “Fatima will always be a part of us, and in fact if you look deep enough, you may find your own inner Fati,” the statement said. “If you’re lucky enough to find her there, trust her, listen to her, because she will change your life for the better.”

The family then thanked those who offered support during the reality star’s health battle. “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,” the message read. “We want to thank everyone from the bottom of our now broken hearts.”

The message concluded: “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.”

Ali was originally diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma, a bone and soft tissue cancer, in late 2017. She announced she was cancer-free in February 2018. However, in October 2018, she revealed that the cancer had returned.

Top Chef host Padma Lakshmi and former contestants Bruce Kalman, Joseph Flamm, Chris Scott, Tyler Anderson and Tanya Holland were among the celebrities who shared their condolences on social media following news of the season 15 participant’s death.

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