Like many in the Top Chef family, Adrienne Cheatham has been showing her support for her fellow Season 15 Cheftestant Fatima Ali during her cancer battle. Now Adrienne is teaming up with a couple more of her competitors to help Fatima and others who have been on a similar journey.
Adrienne will be working with Chris Scott and Tyler Anderson to prepare a five-course dinner and cocktail hour at Tyler's restaurant Millwrights in Simsbury, Connecticut. The proceeds from the event will be donated to The Sarcoma Foundation of America in Fatima's honor. "Come for our friends, we come for you," Adrienne told The Daily Dish during a recent interview. "So whatever we can do to help, that's what we're gonna do because that sucks. Nobody should have to go through that."
But of course, when Adrienne first heard the news that Fatima had been diagnosed with Ewing's sarcoma, a type of bone and soft tissue cancer, she said her focus was just on making sure Fatima was OK and that she had everything she needed to help her get through this difficult time. Adrienne shared that "it was really scary" to find out that Fatima was going through this cancer battle not long after they got back from competing in this season of Top Chef in Colorado. "The tumor had been growing for like over a year, so the whole time we were on the show, the whole time we've been focused on things that are less important than life, she's been going through this and had no idea herself because she was enjoying her life so much and cooking and spending time with us in Colorado," Adrienne said. "And it puts everything into perspective, like as much as I wanted to win, as much as she wanted to win, as hard as we were all working, nothing is as important as your health and your life."
Fatima underwent four rounds of chemotherapy before she had surgery on her left shoulder to remove a cancerous tumor in January. She shared the good news in February that the tumor and the surrounding cancerous cells had been "removed entirely," and she had been declared cancer-free.
With Fatima's amazing progress and her wonderful sense of humor, Adrienne said that she's confident that her fellow chef and friend will be able to conquer this battle. "I think she's doing really well. She looks amazing. She's in great spirits. One time on the show we had to wax our mustaches because they were growing, and she was like, 'Hey, I don't have to wax my mustache anymore.' So she's in great spirits," Adrienne gushed. "Fati, she's got the best attitude, so there's no way that this could get the best of her. She's got everything that can help her get through this. Between her mom, doctors, friends, and family, she's gonna be fine."
Watch Top Chef host and judge Padma Lakshmi open up about how Fatima is doing today, below.