There is a unique silver lining to the tragic story of Cindy Stowell's death from cancer.
Stowell, who was only 41, had been diagnosed with stage IV cancer and was told by her doctor she had less than 6 months to live.
Stowell's boyfriend, Jason Hess, shared the news of her death on Monday on Twitter, but also shared the incredible story of how Stowell lived her biggest dream just before her passing.
In August, Stowell found out she had qualified to be a contestant on Jeopardy! In a heartbreaking letter to one of the show's producers, she asked if she would still be able to compete.
"Do you have any idea how long it typically takes between an in person interview, and the taping date?" she wrote, "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,"
Selflessly, Stowell asked if she could tape her episode in time, because she wanted to donate any prize money to cancer research.
Just three weeks later, Stowell's wish came true. She taped her episode of the game show in August and it will air on December 13th, just a week after her passing. This means Cindy will also be the first contestant to appear on Jeopardy! after their death.
Only a few staffers knew about Stowell's illness, and none of her competitors were aware she was sick. Amazingly, Hess revealed that Stowell had a blood infection and was on painkillers during her game.
@habcous Oh no. She taped the same day as me, she was an awesome person and brought a great cheering squad. Everyone should watch Tuesday.— Bridget (@McBridget11) December 5, 2016
Alex Trebek, the show's host, said in a statement that "competing on Jeopardy! was a lifelong dream for Cindy," and added that "all of us at Jeopardy! offer our condolences and best wishes to her family and friends."
Cindy's parents, Greg and Carole Stowell, released their own statement, which said:
"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."
While Stowell's early death is a tragedy, her courage and perseverance helped her achieve her dream before she died.