'Top Chef' fan favorite Fatima Ali dies at 29 after cancer battle

Fatima Ali, the "Top Chef" fan favorite who was also crowned a champion on "Chopped," has died after a battle with bone cancer. She was 29.

The young chef was diagnosed with Ewing's sarcoma in 2017 and was declared cancer-free in February 2018. Tragically, the cancer returned in September 2018 and doctors estimated she had one year to live.

Ali had last updated fans on her condition on Jan. 11, writing on Instagram, “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. I thank you a million times over for when you have given me joy."

PHOTOS: Fatima Ali before her illness

8 PHOTOS
'Top Chef' contestant Fatima Ali
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'Top Chef' contestant Fatima Ali
TOP CHEF -- Season:15 -- Pictured: Fatima Ali -- (Photo by: Tommy Garcia/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
TOP CHEF -- Episode 1501 -- Pictured: Fatima Ali -- (Photo by: Paul Trantow/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
TOP CHEF -- 'Smile and Say Mise' Episode 1502 -- Pictured: (l-r) Alex Seidel, Tom Colicchio, Fatima Ali-- (Photo by: Paul Trantow/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
TOP CHEF -- 'Smile and Say Mise' Episode 1502 -- Pictured: (l-r) Fatima Ali, Carrie Baird -- (Photo by: Paul Trantow/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
TOP CHEF -- 'Keep on Truckin'' Episode 1503 -- Pictured: (l-r) Fatima Ali, Tu David Phu -- (Photo by: Paul Trantow/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
TOP CHEF -- 'Olympic Dreams' Episode 1507 -- Pictured: Fatima Ali -- (Photo by: Paul Trantow/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
TOP CHEF -- 'Olympic Dreams' Episode 1507 -- Pictured: (l-r) Fatima Ali, Bruce Kalman, Claudette Wilkins -- (Photo by: Paul Trantow/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
TOP CHEF -- 'Restaurant Wars' Episode 1508 -- Pictured: (l-r) Fatima Ali, Claudette Wilkins -- (Photo by: Paul Trantow/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
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When she revealed the news that her cancer had returned in late 2018, Ali did it with her signature sense of humor, writing on Bon Appetit, "I was looking forward to being 30, flirty and thriving. Guess I have to step it up on the flirting. I have no time to lose."

In the essay, Ali mused about the new outlook she had on life as she came to accept her quickly-ticking clock.

"In my wallet, I keep a crumpled cocktail napkin with a list of names scrawled on it," she wrote. "They’re people I need to make amends to before I go. I have to learn how to ask for forgiveness without expecting to receive it."

She continued, "Until then, every day is an opportunity for me to experience something new."

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Fatima Ali on Instagram
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Fatima Ali on Instagram
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. 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.
Caption the action @theellenshow #bekind #letsstartatrend #monet #eatyourheartoutbobross
Miss that hair sometimes 💁🏽‍♀️ @philprovencio photography. #topchef #chef #cheffati #teamfati
Going in for surgery today to get that tumor out of my left shoulder. Feeling content knowing I have so many well wishers and prayers from all around the world. ♥️ #fuckcancer
My nurses are the best!!! Trying to get me pumped up for the premier tonight of #Topchef. Feeling a bit lost because of the changes since filming but I’m determined to stay positive. #teamfati #bravo #chef #fuckcancer
#chefsroll #truecooks #arccardinal #microorigins#plating #finedining #pakistani #competition #brooklyn #food #losangeles #michellin #michelin #winner
Missing my best buddy @mariamiqbal. From the scrawny, scrappy nine year olds that met in the playground to the strong, fearless women we are today. You have been by my side physically and metaphorically through thick and thin. May the light always shine on you just like this. #bestfriends #nyc #london #kgs #family
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