The Jeopardy! champion who competed while suffering from cancer fought through intense pain while on her remarkable run.
It was Cindy Stowell's lifelong dream to compete on the iconic quiz show and although she was in the final stages of Stage 4 cancer, she shined for six days.
The nation was captivated as Stowell dispatched challenger after challenger, earning a grand total of $103,000.
In an interview recorded right after she taped her final Jeopardy! appearance, she broke down as she revealed she was donating the entirety of her prize money to cancer research.
"This is hard and I’m sorry," she said. "Maybe I should pause but I’m dying of cancer and I really want the money that I win to help others."
Stowell was extremely ill during the taping of the shows back in August but she was determined not to receive special treatment.
Her brother, Greg, who was in the audience with a contingent of her family and friends, said she kept her suffering a secret.
"You could tell she wasn't in great shape but she pushed on through it,” he told Inside Edition. “She was slouched over the podium during commercial breaks; she would occasionally grab her abdomen. You could tell she had a little pain in her stomach or a lot of pain actually.
"What kept her up there was doing something she always dreamed of doing despite her physical ailments. She was gonna make the best out of it."
Only Alek Trebek and a select few Jeopardy! staff members knew that she had just months to live. Her fellow contestants had no idea.
Sam Skoville narrowly beat her on Wednesday night's show, bringing her six-episode winning streak to an end.
“The fact that she could compete through that is a testament to how tough she is,” Skoville told Inside Edition. "Nobody knew how great of a contestant she would be. I couldn’t say it but I wanted to say, 'you just wait and see how great she is,' probably a top five contestant up there with Ken Jennings."
Stowell passed away on December 5, about a week before her first appearance was broadcast. But the folks at Jeopardy! made a special DVD of her shows and sent it to her in the hospital as she lay dying.
“She received a copy of the episodes and it really cheered her up to see those,” her brother said.
Her brother said that she donated her winnings to the Cancer Research Institute.
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