'Jeopardy!' Contestant Passes Away One Week Before Her Episode Airs

Cindy Stowell passed away on December 5 from Stage IV cancer. For months, she knew that she didn’t have very long left, but it didn’t stop her from finally completing one of her lifelong dreams. Stowell was able to compete on the trivia game show, Jeopardy! before she passed.

“When Cindy Stowell taped her appearance on Jeopardy!, she had Stage IV cancer. Competing on Jeopardy! was a lifelong dream for Cindy, and we’re glad she was able to do so,” said show host Alex Trebek. “Sadly, Cindy died on Dec. 5. All of us at Jeopardy! offer our condolences and best wishes to her family and friends.”

When Stowell was going through the process of being selected for the show, she only told a handful of people that she was ill. She only mentioned it to the producer of the show when she had finally made it to the in-person interview stage of casting.

“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,” she wrote in a letter to the producer before the interview. “The doctor’s best guess is about 6 months.”

She went on to explain that if she were able to do the taping, she would love to be able to donate her winnings to a cancer charity. Otherwise, if she couldn’t do the taping, she’d prefer if another candidate was selected for the interview in her place.

Needless to say, the timing worked out perfectly. Stowell was able to film her episode in August, three weeks after auditioning. According to her boyfriend, she was ill at the time of the taping, but she held it together.

Her episode will air on December 13, 2016, and will be the first ever posthumous airing of a contestant in the long history of the show.

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[H/T PEOPLE]