This may be one of the most inspiring and heartbreaking stories of this season of light and hope: a gifted contestant on “Jeopardy!” who competed while keeping from the audience and her fellow contestants the news that she was dying.
Cindy Stowell had Stage 4 colon cancer when she recorded episodes of “Jeopardy!” in August and September, competing on painkillers and developing a fever that caused makeup artists to rush onstage during commercial breaks to clean up her sweat.
Ms. Stowell never got to see her appearances as they were broadcast on TV. She died at age 41 on Dec. 5, just over a week before her taped episodes began showing.
But once the world saw her compete and heard her story, she inspired fans unlike any contestant in the quiz show’s 33-year history.
Her run ended on the Wednesday episode, culminating a six-game winning streak that placed her among the year’s top performers. Before dying, she pledged to donate her more than $100,000 in winnings to the Cancer Research Institute.
Watch her tell her story in her own words below. God bless her.