One of the most heartbreaking but also inspiring stories of the month came courtesy of Cindy Stowell, a woman who did everything in her power this year in order to complete her lifelong dream of appearing on “Jeopardy!.” She had stage 4 cancer, but continued to come on the show and fight in order to win as many shows as possible.
In the end, Stowell’s achievements would have been impressive even if she had not had cancer, given that she won six separate shows and earned more than $100,000 during her time on the show. She passed away on December 5, days before her episodes were set to air, but in a statement the show acknowledged that she had an opportunity to watch her episodes via a special gesture from the folks behind the scenes:
“Cindy won her first game, unseating reigning seven-game champ Tim Aten and claiming $22,801, then went on to win the remaining three games that day. She returned to Austin for a short break before the next tape session on September 13, when she won two more games and brought her final total to $103,801. When Cindy was in the hospital, Jeopardy! sent her advance copies of her first three episodes, so she and her family were able to watch her realize a lifelong dream of competing on the show. Jeopardy! also expedited Cindy’s prize money, and she received and acknowledged it before she passed.”
Stowell’s earnings are set to go towards cancer charities to help the lives of others, which was something that she planned on doing before she even knew for sure that she was coming on the show.
In a further statement, host Alex Trebek had the following to say:
“When Cindy Stowell taped her appearance on Jeopardy!, she had Stage 4 cancer. 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.”
The video below features Cindy talking about what the dream meant to her, and being a part of this amazing journey. Our thoughts go out to her family and loved ones this holiday season during what has to be an extremely difficult time.