In a very shocking video message on Wednesday, Alex Trebek – well-known host of the game show “Jeopardy!” – announced that he’s received a diagnosis of stage 4 pancreatic cancer. Although the prognosis seems bleak, the 78-year-old Trebek remained positive, saying that he plans to fight the illness and won’t stop working.
Below is his full message:
“Hi everyone, I have some news to share with all of you and it’s in keeping with my longtime policy of being open and transparent with our “Jeopardy!” fan base. I also wanted to prevent you from reading or hearing some overblown or inaccurate reports regarding my health. So therefore, I wanted to be the one to pass along this information.
Now, just like 50,000 other people in the United States each year, this week I was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. Now normally, the prognosis for this is not very encouraging, but I’m going to fight this, and I’m going to keep working.
“And with the love and support of my family and friends and with the help of your prayers also, I plan to beat the low survival rate statistics for this disease. Truth told, I have to! Because under the terms of my contract, I have to host “Jeopardy!” for three more years! So help me. Keep the faith and we’ll win. We’ll get it done. Thank you.”
Trebek has been entertaining generations of viewers as the host of Jeopardy! since 1984. He broke the Guinness World Record in 2014 for the most game show episodes hosted by the same presenter on the same program, coming in at an astonishing 6,829 episodes. “Jeopardy!” wouldn’t be the same show without his distinctive voice and acerbic wit.
For 35 years Trebek has been a standard presence in millions of people’s homes. Loads of fans took to Twitter, expressing their love and support for the host, and wishing him lots of strength to fight the disease. As one person wrote, “Dear God, I regret to inform you that you may not have Alex Trebek. We still need him here. Thank you for your understanding.”
Another beloved and long-running host, Pat Sajak from “Wheel of Fortune” wrote a message of support, which read, “The Sajak family is deeply saddened to hear of Alex Trebek’s struggle with cancer. Our hearts go out to him and his family. But there is no one I know who is stronger and more determined, and I would never bet against him. We, and the entire country, are pulling for you, Alex.”
In addition to “Jeopardy!”, Trebek has hosted a number of game shows throughout the years, including “The Wizard of Odds”, “Double Dare” and “To Tell the Truth”. He also made appearances as himself on multiple TV shows, including “Family Guy”, “Saturday Night Live”, “How I Met Your Mother”, “Orange Is The New Black”, “The Simpsons” and “RuPaul’s Drag Race”.