In a year when inspiration has often been crowded out by discord and during a season when many just want their heart warmed, the story of the late Cindy Stowell has emerged as a gift that is giving people hope and a sense of purpose — and cancer research a nice windfall of unexpected funds. Stowell, a 41-year-old science content developer from Texas, died earlier this month, just a week before her appearance on ‘Jeopardy!’ was set to debut on TV. In August, when she taped her appearance, only host Alex Trebek and a handful of others who work on the show knew that Stowell was battling Stage IV cancer. Her opponents, ten of whom have now been dispatched, had no idea about her condition.
As we’ve learned over the last week, the symptoms of her ailment did nothing to distract her from turning in a tour-de-force performance. On Monday night, Stowell extended her winning streak to five consecutive games — a remarkable feat for any ‘Jeopardy!’ contestant, never mind one fighting cancer. With her fifth straight win, Stowell added another $18,001 to her winnings, bringing her total to $80,002
Of course, a detail making this story even more poignant is the fact that Stowell pledged to donate any winnings on the show to charities that support cancer research. Over five days, she’s amassed a nice little windfall for research into the disease that claimed her life, and the lives of so many others, too early.
On Tuesday, Stowell’s longtime boyfriend Jason Hess appeared on CNN to discuss her incredible run on the quiz show. “It’s definitely been a mix of emotions the last couple of weeks,” Hess said. “Even though I know how it turns out … it’s been so thrilling to kind of show the world how well she did.” Indeed, many in the world are taking note. As Seth Rosenthal of SB Nation put it, “To see Cindy dominate is also a unique thrill. I sit in awe of a brilliant woman earning every last dollar she can for the causes dearest to her; building a sum of infinite potential in the face of her own finality. I have never rooted harder for anyone to win anything.” And on Tuesday night, Stowell pushed her winning streak to six consecutive games and adding another $23,801 to her overall haul.
Watch the full interview with Hess below.
Boyfriend of Jeopardy champ who died before shows aired: It's been a bright point among recent tragic circumstances. https://t.co/Pl8Uahkmtv
— New Day (@NewDay) December 20, 2016
Read the full story at SB Nation.