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Bravo's Top Chef Season 15 Contestants Have a "Bittersweet Reunion" to Visit Fatima Ali
The Cheftestants showed that they are "Season 15 strong" amid their friend's cancer battle.
Fatima Ali needs her Bravo's Top Chef family now more than ever.
Following the news that the Season 15 Fan Favorite winner's health has worsened three months after she announced her terminal cancer diagnosis, Fatima's fellow Cheftestants recently gathered in Los Angeles to lift her spirits and show their support during this difficult time. Joe Flamm, Adrienne Cheatham, Tyler Anderson, Bruce Kalman, Tanya Holland, Claudette Wilkins, Carrie Baird, Rogelio Garcia, Chris Scott, Tu David Phu, Joe Sasto, Melissa Perfit, and Laura Cole came from all over the country to show their love for Fatima.
The chefs shared their photos of their visit on Instagram, showing that they are "Season 15 strong," as Chris put it. "We all came together, flew in from as far as Alaska, to see this beautiful lady, and got to have some laughs with her," Bruce shared. "We love you so very much @cheffati."
Tanya called the gathering "a bittersweet reunion." "Our dear @cheffati is the glue...we are bonded forever now," she said on Instagram.
Melissa shared a similar sentiment. "So bittersweet to see all these amazing friends come together to see our sweet @cheffati," she said. "It’s impossible to explain how we all feel. You are so amazing. We love you so much."
Rogelio described this group of chefs as "friends that became family." "So happy to see you this week @cheffati... praying for you..." he said. "When one of us hurts we all hurt..."
Joe and Bruce also brought their sons, Luka and Jude, respectively, who came into their lives during and after Season 15, to meet Fatima.
Claudette remarked how happy she was that her teenage children had the chance to meet her Bravo's Top Chef family. "These people are my people. Hard to explain the bonds that happen during our time together. I wish they [were] under better circumstances that we were together but when one hurts we all hurt and we rally," she shared. "@cheffati is loved beyond belief and we will be here for her and each other. Thankful my kids got to meet them yesterday to see how funny and comfortable we are with each other."
Fatima was diagnosed with Ewing's sarcoma, a type of bone and soft tissue cancer, in late 2017 after she filmed Season 15 of Top Chef. After being declared cancer-free in early 2018, she shared in the fall that her cancer had returned and doctors had given her a year to live.
Fatima didn't let that news slow her down as she continued to make the most out of life, eating at her dream restaurants and appearing as a guest on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. But after a social media hiatus, Fatima shared a heartbreaking update on her health on Instagram on January 10. "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," she shared. "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."
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