Alex Trebek, who has been in everyone’s homes for over 30 years as the host of Jeopardy! since 1984, made the somber and scary announcement yesterday that he has been 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,” Trebek said in a video message to his fans. “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.”
It’s a scary diagnosis with a low survival rate, but Trebek, in true form, was transparent with the news and then used the opportunity to be honest and open and encouraging with his audience.
Last year, he renewed his contract to host Jeopardy through 2022 and he used that as a bit of levity in this sad video, saying that contract is why he has no choice but to survive the 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.”
There’s something to be said about maintaining an optimistic mindset in times like this. Staying positive, and truly believing in yourself and your body’s ability to fight is much more powerful than you may think. We wish Alex Trebek the very best and hope he makes a full recovery.