I haven’t watched the TV game show Jeopardy! in a long time, so learning about this was shocking. Imagine you have an illness that was life threatening, but yet you press your way to participate in a national TV game show and you win $80,000. That’s remarkable in itself. The tragedy is that the show will air after you pass away.
We never know when our last breath will occur on this earth, so we have to plan to be ready and have all of our affairs in order. The $80,000 that Cindy Stowell won was sent to the right place just before she died.
Last week’s episodes of Jeopardy featured a contestant named Cindy Stowell. Like most players, Cindy showed up with her game face on and her knowledge at hand. She looked like your everyday Jeopardy contestant. But Cindy wasn’t just playing a game. She was there to fulfill her dying wish.
In an email she wrote:
“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 six 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 tryout spot to someone else.”
She was booked on the show just three weeks later, but would never live to see herself compete when the shows aired. Cindy lost her battle with colon cancer on December 5, 2016.
Cindy was a fierce competitor, beating the reigning victor on her first episode, and advancing for five more so far. As of Monday, when she won again, Cindy’s total prize money was $80,002. She did it all on painkillers, with stage IV cancer, fighting a blood infection and with a high fever. Only the show’s host, Alex Trebek, and a handful of other producers knew about her illness.
Before she passed, Cindy donated all of her winnings to the Cancer Research Institute.
“She knew she wasn’t going to be around, and so she felt like the best thing she could do was try to help do what she could to help get us to a cure faster,” said Cindy’s boyfriend.
Wow! What a story and what a warrior. Cindy might not be here anymore but her spirit and gift to the Cancer Research Institute will live on in her name and her message will be her legacy.
What do you think of Cindy’s remarkable journey and how she worked things out before she died? Share your comments and let me know what you think!