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Padma Lakshmi visits 'Top Chef' contestant in hospital ahead of cancer surgery

Fatima Ali, a 28-year-old chef who appears on the show's current season, is battling Ewing's sarcoma.
/ Source: TODAY

It's nice to know that once you are on "Top Chef," host and judge Padma Lakshmi will always be in your corner.

Lakshmi posted a picture of herself on Tuesday with season 15 contestant Fatima Ali in the hospital ahead of surgery to remove a cancerous tumor on the 28-year-old's shoulder (Warning: The caption contains strong language).

Ali appears on the Bravo hit's current season, which is set in Colorado.

The New York-based chef received a diagnosis of Ewing's sarcoma in the fall and is being treated at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

She has been posting hopeful, even lighthearted photos during her hospital stay for the past several weeks (again, the posts contain strong language).

Ali told Bravo's "The Daily Dish" in December that she had begun having pain while working in a restaurant at the US Open last year.

"I brushed it off as a pulled muscle from cooking," she said. "Then I woke up one morning toward the end of the event with excruciating pain in a very swollen shoulder and went straight to the emergency room."

Three weeks later, she was diagnosed with a "rare and high-grade tumor" that threatened her life, she explained.

After undergoing chemotherapy, she had surgery in January.

Fortunately, the Pakistan native and Culinary Institute of America grad has had the support of family and friends ... and fellow top chefs.

"All of the contestants have reached out in many ways; we are a tight group," Ali said.

"I've had an outpouring of lovely messages and care packages from the production team and the producers. 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."

Get well, Fatima! We hope to see you back in the kitchen again soon.

Follow Randee Dawn on Twitter.