Many may have already heard about Cindy Stowell, the Jeopardy! contestant who passed away from Stage IV colon cancer before getting to see her first episode ever air. And now, after what turned out to be a six-episode winning streak, Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek honored Stowell with a video tribute on last night’s show.
Stowell’s boyfriend, Jason Hess, tweeted that Stowell had actually competed with a high fever (that turned out to be a blood infection) and was on heavy painkillers during the days she competed. “This [the show] was a very pleasant surprise at a time when a lot of things weren’t going right for her,” he said on an interview with The New York Times. “She threw everything she could into it.”
Take a look at this extremely moving tribute with behind-the-scenes interviews with Stowell. And warning, you may definitely need to grab a tissue.
Trebeck also made the following brief, albeit heartfelt statement during the episode,
Stowell donated all $103,801 of her winnings to cancer research.
Are hearts are going out to Stowell, her boyfriend Jason, and all the friends and family affected by her loss. She was clearly a remarkable lady, and while she didn’t get to see her episodes air or the huge impact she’s had on viewers, we’re so incredibly glad that she was able to fulfill a life-long dream by competing on the show.
We’re both incredibly moved and inspired by Stowell’s strength and determination. Rest in peace, Cindy.