The ‘badass’ competed while terminally ill and fighting off a blood infection.
She was just one week away from seeing her appearance on Jeopardy air on national TV, but contestant Cindy Stowell still passed away knowing that she made a tremendous difference in the world. The 41-year-old woman raised $22,801 to benefit others from her appearance. Knowing that she was losing the fight against stage IV cancer, she made it clear that she wanted her winning to go to "charities involved in cancer research."
Her episode was taped on August 31, 2016.
Her family issued a statement shortly after her passing, which reads:
"Cindy came on Jeopardy! to play the game she loved and in doing so, she was able to make a contribution to cancer research in the hopes that no one else would have to go through what she did.”
The face of the iconic game show, Jeopardy host Alex Trebek, had some words following news of her passing as well:
"Competing on Jeopardy! was a lifelong dream for Cindy, and we’re glad she was able to do so. Sadly, Cindy died on December 5. Our condolences and best wishes to her family and friends."
it’s unclear with the uniquely tragic situation posed here if the show will record another segment to acknowledge her passing when the show airs next Tuesday.
Cindy, a longtime fan and formidable pub quiz contestant, passed the online test to graduate to the in-person audition in Oklahoma City. However, at that point, she knew her prognosis was terminal, so she asked the producers how long it would be between then and a possible taping of the show.
Here’s her letter to the producers:
"Do you have any idea how long it typically takes between an in person interview, and the taping date? I ask because I just found out that I don’t have too much longer to live. The doctor’s best guess is about 6 months. If there is the chance that I’d be able to still tape episodes of Jeopardy! if I were selected, I’d like to do that and donate any winnings to … charities involved in cancer research.If it is unlikely that the turnaround time would be that quick, then I’d like to give up my try out spot to someone else.”
It’s nice to know that such a magnanimous person, both in her willingness to give her spot to a candidate more likely to appear and in her donation of the proceeds, could find her way onto the show and live out a lifelong dream before passing on. If you find yourself near a TV, check out her performance. It sounds like she put on quite a display judging by the size of the donation.