'Jeopardy!' host Alex Trebek asks fans to pray, 'keep the faith' amid stage-4 cancer diagnosis
The longtime host of one of the most popular shows in the United States has announced that he's battling stage-4 cancer and is asking his fans to "keep the faith."
Alex Trebek, 78, who has hosted the show "Jeopardy!" since 1984, revealed in a video online Wednesday that he's fighting an advanced form of pancreatic cancer.
He wanted to be the one to share the news himself in the interest of being "open and transparent" with the show's fan base.
Although pancreatic cancer is known for its low rates of survival, Trebek appeared optimistic and resolved.
"Just like 50,000 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," he said.
"And with the love and support of family and friends and with the help of your prayers also, I plan to beat the low survival rate statistics for this disease."
He concluded by saying that he had to beat the cancer because his contract stipulates he must host "Jeopardy!" for another three years.
“So help me. Keep the faith and we’ll win. We’ll get it done,” he said, his voice resolute.
Trebek has a degree in philosophy from the University of Ottawa, and was a journalist for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation before moving to the United States. In 1998 he became a U.S. citizen.
He has hosted "Jeopardy!" since 1984, when ABC tapped him for the job.
Known for his steadiness and good-humored personality, Trebek has won five Daytime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Game Show Host over the course of his over 30-years on the air, according to Biography.com.
In a 2018 interview the "Jeopardy!" host said he was nearing the end of his time on the show, and the chances of him returning to host after his contract ended in 2020 was "50/50 and a little less."
He also named two possible replacements: Los Angeles Kings play-by-play announcer Alex Faust and radio host, author and legal professor Laura Coates.
This is not his first health scare.
After hitting his head in a bad fall in October 2017, Trebek was diagnosed with subdural hematoma in December that year and underwent surgery the next day.
Trebek has been a spokesperson for Christian humanitarian group World Vision for many years, traveling with and advocating for the organization in dozens of television programs.