Anyone tuning into Jeopardy this week will see the contestants and host Alex Trebek are all wearing dark blue ribbons. They’re doing so to honor a fallen contestant who would have been competing alongside them in this latest Tournament of Champions.
Cindy Stowell, a science content developer from Austin, TX, competed on the long-running game show last year, earning more than $103,000 over the span of six days. What viewers didn’t see, however, was that Cindy was battling Stage IV cancer at the time. In fact, she even planned to donate all that prize money to the Cancer Research Institute. “I really would like the money that I win to be used to help others,” she said at the time.
(Photo Credit: R/R)
Heartbreakingly, Cindy died on Dec. 5, eight days before her episodes aired on national television. She did see her big moment, though — Jeopardy sent her the first three episodes of her run on the show and even expedited the delivery of her winnings so she could receive it before she passed. “She was an inspiration to everybody, and it was a privilege to watch her play,” emcee Alex said on the show. “Cindy came on the show with a mission. We gave her the opportunity to fulfill that mission and she made the most of it,” the show's Executive Producer Harry Friedman said.
Now, Alex, the contestants, the crew, and behind-the-scenes staff of Jeopardy are wearing the ribbons during the Tournament of Champions to honor Cindy and to raise cancer awareness among viewers. Additionally, the show is donating $10,000 to the Cancer Research Institute in Cindy’s name.
“Cindy came on Jeopardy to play the game she loved and in doing so, she was able to make a contribution to cancer research in the hopes that no one else would have to go through what she did,” her loved ones said in a statement. If you’d like to donate to CRI, please visit their website at cancerresearch.org.