Padma Lakshmi Supports 'Top Chef' Contestant Amid Cancer Battle

Padma Lakshmi showed her support for chef Fatima Ali, a Top Chef contestant who will have surgery to remove a cancerous tumor.

On Tuesday, Lakshmi posted a selfie from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in Manhattan, New York, showing her with Ali.

"I'd love it if everyone joins me today in saying a special prayer for our [Ali] who went into surgery a couple hours ago. She was in good spirits when we walked her into OR, and am hoping for a great outcome today," Lakshmi wrote.

She added the hashtag, "f— cancer."

The 28-year-old Ali is a contestant on season 15 of Top Chef. She was diagnosed with Ewing's Sarcoma last year, and needed surgery on her shoulder to remove the cancerous tumor, as reported by PEOPLE.

Ali has chronicled her cancer treatment on Instagram, where she has almost 30,000 followers. She went in for surgery after taking the photo with Lakshmi on Tuesday.

"All those years where my grandmother would mould my infantile head with a raw rice pillow proved to have its benefits," Ali wrote.

In November, she wrote about embracing her new, shorter hair.

"Embracing the new look as cancer treatment continues," Ali wrote. "I know a little piece of me has changed already and as each new challenge is conquered with the help of my family and friends, I can only hope to emerge even more resilient, honest and kind."

Top Chef's current season was filmed in spring 2017, before Ali's diagnosis. The episodes began airing Dec. 7 and Ali is still on the show.

In December, Ali told The Daily Dish that the other Top Chef contestants reached out to her.

"All of the contestants have reached out in many ways; we are a tight group. I've had an outpouring of lovely messages and care packages from the production team and the producers," she said. "And Padma has been wonderful. 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."

When asked if she had any advice to those facing similar situations, she told The Daily Dish that it's a "mind-over-matter situation."

"You lose many parts of you as you undergo treatment. Your body betrays you, physically, psychologically, and mentally," Ali said. "You can't blame yourself and almost have to embrace the sickness. Just take it minute by minute and day by day. And definitely get a medical marijuana prescription ASAP. I'm serious about that last part. I may have to become an advocate for that at some point. It is a miracle drug."


Top Chef airs on Bravo Thursdays at 10 p.m. ET.

Photo credit: Instagram/ Padma Lakshmi