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Alex Trebek has been a key figure on the small screen for decades thanks to his role as host of Jeopardy. He's been called upon to do everything from banter with celebrities to react to unexpected stories from contestants to deal with whatever complications come his way while taping episodes. Sadly, Trebek has now shared a message that reveals a recent diagnosis with pancreatic cancer. Here's what he had to say:
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.
Alex Trebek was as poised and dignified as he's always been in his message to Jeopardy fans about his diagnosis. Rather than attempting to conceal his diagnosis with pancreatic cancer or risk the news being leaked by another source that might misrepresent the facts, Trebek shared what he is facing. His words are brave and encouraging as he both addresses the low survival rate of stage 4 pancreatic cancer and announces that he plans to remain as host of Jeopardy! despite the diagnosis.
He even dropped a joke at the end of his message, which is more than many people might be able to do when recently diagnosed with such a serious disease. Alex Trebek did agree to stay on board at Jeopardy! through 2022 at least, which came as welcome news to fans who knew that he had been considering retirement.
This is not the first time that Alex Trebek has suffered from a serious medical issue. Back in the fall of 2018, he fell and hit his head, and he underwent brain surgery in December to remove a subdural hematoma. He had to take a break from hosting the show as he recovered, but he was back and as great as ever when he returned. We can only hope that Trebek will make as successful a recovery from his current health issue as he did with his brain surgery.
Take a look at the video of Alex Trebek revealing his diagnosis:
Alex Trebek has hosted Jeopardy! since way back in 1984, and we can only hope that he continues to enjoy his job. He has become a beloved figure in pop culture thanks to his role, and he even has been hilariously parodied as part of some of the most beloved SNL sketches in recent memory.
Our thoughts here at CinemaBlend are with Alex Trebek and his loved ones in this difficult time. You can find the host in his element on the small screen with new episodes of Jeopardy! on weeknights.