I first heard about Cindy around Thanksgiving and every few days there’s an update or more information. If you aren’t familiar, a woman named Cindy Stowell got the chance to be on Jeopardy. She had terminal cancer and unfortunately died before her shows would air. And she’s really good. It would be one thing if this woman was just on the show, but she keeps winning! And to know that the streak stops and she passes away before she got to see her shows air gets ya right in the feels, doesn’t it?
If you know me, you know how much I love Jeopardy. It is a treat to be at home when its on (because I’m home sick) and play along with the contestants. I even dream of one day being on the show. But, I play Jeopardy like I play Trivia Pursuit – if there’s a question about a dictator in the Middle East the answer is always “Who is Saddam Hussein?” regardless of context. I know I’d barely make it out of the online test step, so I’m in awe of anyone who who actually makes it onto the show.
Today, I read this article on the Huffington Post. As I was eating breakfast, I started to tear up. There are so many items in this article that touched me.
“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 6 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 try out spot to someone else.”
I cant imagine what it is like to come to terms with your own death, but clearly Cindy did. She also was willing to give up this try out spot if she wasn’t going to be able to make the taping. She’s literally getting the opportunity to do something she wanted to do and give it up for someone else.
She went on to film while not feeling well – a fever, on painkillers. And she still kicked ass. I will remember this when I have a papercut or am too tired to go to the store.
I’m in love with the camaraderie that is gained from being a contestant. Only a select group of people make it to the show. It’s an honor just to make it on. Jeopardy is a civilized game, not one where you go for the kill, but where you support your fellow contestants. Nothing validates that more than the “Cindy Stowell Challenge”. One of the contesetants vowed keep track of her correct answers. For every question she gets right, she donates $1 to cancer research. My paternal grandmother also died of colon cancer, so this feels like a pretty worthwhile and awesome pursuit.
I am working from home today and plan to play the “Cindy Stowell Challenge”. Will you join me?
To donate click here.