Austin Jeopardy! Contestant Passed Away Before Her Episode Aired

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It’s not an easy task to gain a spot as a contestant on the TV quiz show Jeopardy!, but Cindy Stowell managed to do so while dealing with the physical and emotional pain of having stage 4 cancer. When Stowell made it past the online test, she emailed a producer to ask how long the process would potentially take to move forward since she only had roughly six months to live.

ABC 13 reports that producers worked with her to speed along her audition. After she passed with flying colors, she quickly filmed an episode where she promised to give her winnings to cancer research charities. Stowell passed away on December 5th, but her Jeopardy! episode airs on December 13th.

Her boyfriend, Jason Hess, knew the hardships she was facing while she smiled for the camera and answered tough questions. “She was fighting a high-grade fever (which turned out to be a blood infection) and was on painkillers,” USA Today quotes Hess.

Stowell lived in Austin, held a doctorate in chemical engineering, and worked as a science content developer. USA Today writes, “The family hopes her admirers will follow suit by making a donation to the Cancer Research Institute.”