Cindy went on Jeopardy with Stage 4 Colon cancer. Nobody knew that she was sick. Her episode of the show was taped on August 31, 2016. She planned to donate the proceeds to cancer research. Cindy had a severe fever (which turned out to be a blood infection) and was on painkillers while taping. 
Cindy's boyfriend of 20 years, Jason Hess, says she was a badass. Her family has 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."