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The Daily Dish Top Chef

Padma Lakshmi on Top Chef Contestant Fatima Ali's Cancer Battle: "She's a Tough Gal"

The Top Chef host gives an update on the Season 15 contestant after her surgery to remove a cancerous tumor.

By Laura Rosenfeld
Padma on a #TopChef’s Cancer Diagnosis

The Top Chef family has rallied around Chef Fatima Ali during her battle with cancer after she was diagnosed with Ewing's sarcoma, a type of bone and soft tissue cancer, last fall. Padma Lakshmi has especially been by Fatima's side throughout this journey, comforting her right before she went in for surgery to remove a cancerous tumor in her left shoulder in January. 

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Padma gave an update on the Top Chef Season 15 contestant and her cancer battle when she stopped by Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen Wednesday (clip above). "She's doing a lot better, thank you. This was one of our best contestants. She was so fun," Padma shared. "You know, I didn't see all of her commentary until now, and she's so witty and so many people have come up to me saying what a great spirit she has and how funny she is with her commentary." 

Fatima had good news to share with Top Chef fans earlier this month when she revealed that "the tumor and surrounding cancer cells were removed entirely" and she has been declared cancer-free following her surgery. Padma said on WWHL that Fatima has been "doing great" and "doing really well" since then. "She had a great surgeon at Sloan Kettering. I think they got it all now," she said. "And you know, she just has to be always mindful, But she's a tough gal. She's great."

Fatima now just has to undergo chemotherapy for a few more months, which is still presenting its challenges for the cheftestant. "Had a long week of chemo that runs for 24 hours over 5 Days. My mind runs a mile a minute though my body feels sluggish and fatigued," Fatima recently shared on Instagram. "Really looking forward to the routine of physiotherapy to get mobility back into my arm and get cooking." 

Look back on Fatima's Top Chef journey, below.

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