Viewers of the current season of "Top Chef" know contestant Fatima Ali not only as a fan favorite, but as a talented woman who can make Pakistani cuisine with the best of them.
What viewers possibly don't know is that since taping of the show finished, Fatima has been diagnosed with cancer. Still, she's fighting her battle like she fought for her spot on the Bravo show, and the "Top Chef" family is by her side… literally.
On Jan. 16, host Padma Lakshmi joined Fatima during her chemotherapy treatments, and shared a selfie of them from Fatima's bedside.
"I'd love it if everyone joins me today in saying a special prayer for our @cheffati who went into surgery a couple hours ago," Padma said. "She was in good spirits when we walked her into OR, and am hoping for a great outcome today."
Fatima was actually diagnosed with cancer before the current season even aired. In December, she posted a photo of herself in the hospital with a homemade chef's hat.
"My nurses are the best!!! Trying to get me pumped up for the premier tonight of #Topchef," she said. "Feeling a bit lost because of the changes since filming but I'm determined to stay positive."
While speaking to Bravo's The Daily Dish in December, Fatima said she was diagnosed with Ewing's Sarcoma, a rare type of cancerous tumor that grows in the bones or the soft tissue around the bones, in her left shoulder.
"I started to experience pain in my shoulder in the early fall, but I was working on a popup restaurant for the U.S. Open, so I brushed it off as a pulled muscle from cooking," she said. "Then I woke up one morning, towards the end of the event, with excruciating pain in a very swollen shoulder and went straight to the emergency room. From there, I went through many tests and biopsies and finally got the diagnosis three weeks later."
Her "Top Chef" costars have all reached out to her, she said.
"And Padma has been wonderful," she said. "We've caught up over lunch, and she has come to sit with me during my chemo treatments to keep me company. I'm pretty thankful for my Top Chef fam."