The world was devastated to learn a few months ago that beloved Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek was suffering from stage 4 pancreatic cancer, a cancer with an often-grim diagnosis. In open and emotional announcement, Trebek promised to fight his illness aggressively, and thankfully, it’s a fight he now seems to be winning!

“It’s kind of mind-boggling,” he said in an interview with People Magazine. Despite the low 9% survival rate of his illness, Trebek reports that he is “near remission,” according to his doctors.

“The doctors said they hadn’t seen this kind of positive result in their memory,” Trebek explained. “Some of the tumors have already shrunk by more than 50 percent.”

While Trebek still has a major fight ahead of him along with more rounds of chemotherapy, it’s encouraging news and his doctors are excited at his progress, as is Trebek, of course, who shared that he got emotional at hearing the good news: “They were tears of joy, not tears of depression.”

In addition to the support from his wife of 29 years, Trebek credits well wishes from fans around the world for giving him strength through his darkest moments– when he’s been sad, sick and discouraged.

“I’ve got a couple million people out there who have expressed their good thoughts, their positive energy directed towards me and their prayers,” he said. “I told the doctors, this has to be more than just the chemo, and they agreed it could very well be an important part of this.”

Trebek added, “I’ve got a lot of love out there headed in my direction and a lot of prayer, and I will never ever minimize the value of that.”

His positive attitude and openness to the support of others are an inspiration to us all. While Trebek knows he is not out of the woods yet, he’s hopeful about achieving total remission– as are his legions of fans who grew up watching Trebek on Jeopardy! for the last 35 years.