Wheel of Fortune's Pat Sajak Among Stars Showing Support for Alex Trebek After Cancer Diagnosis
In a somber announcement on Wednesday, Alex Trebek revealed he was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer and vowed to fight the disease while continuing to work on Jeopardy!
In a video message on Wednesday, the longtime Jeopardy! host, 78, told the show’s fanbase that he has “a longtime policy of being open and transparent” and that he wanted to prevent fans from “reading or hearing some overblown or inaccurate reports regarding my health.”
Trebek, who has now hosted Jeopardy! for 35 years, vowed to courageously “fight” the disease and also continue working on the game show, while asking his fans to lift up prayers on his behalf.
“The Sajak family is deeply saddened to hear of Alex Trebek’s struggle with cancer. Our hearts go out to him and his family,” Sajak, whose program currently follows Trebek’s on television, wrote on Twitter.
“But there is no one I know who is stronger and more determined, and I would never bet against him,” the game show host, 72, added. “We, and the entire country, are pulling for you, Alex.”
“Sending you so much love, prayers and support to you Alex, your family and the entire Jeopardy family. You have got this! We are all here fighting along side you. #F—Cancer” McCain tweeted.
“We are all pulling for Alex Trebek who just revealed he has stage 4 pancreatic cancer. He vows to fight this and to keep working. We’re with you, Alex,” said Muir.
“Our hearts go out to you, #Alextrebek, a member of our Disney-ABC family for so long. We admire your courage and determination, and in the words of Winston Churchill: ‘never, never, never, never give up!'” Iger wrote.
In addition to the famous faces from his ABC family, Trebek also received support from stars across Hollywood, including comedian-actor Ken Jeong, The Bachelor host Chris Harrison, comedian Dane Cook, actors LeVar Burton and Ike Barinholtz, and actress Katie Stevens.
“You are my hero,” Jeong proudly wrote in his tweet.
“You are the true daily double and the ultimate Jeopardy! champion in my eyes,” added Cook in his supportive message.
Buzzy Cohen, who is the 2017 Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions winner, explained how much of an impact Trebek has had on his life in just a few short years.
“My heart sinks. Few things have changed the course of my life the way this man and this show has. As I’ve come to know him there is nothing but love, respect, and admiration. Alex your whole jeopardy family is behind you. #TheRealJeopardyAllStar,” he wrote.
Jeopardy! record holder Ken Jennings echoed those sentiments: “One thing I know for a fact: Alex is very aware of how much he means to millions of people, and how we will be pulling for him…I hope that’s a comfort.”
Trebek even received some support beyond the United States.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted to Ontario-born Trebek, “Keep fighting, Alex – Canadians are rooting for you!”
Despite the grave diagnosis, Trebek quipped in his video announcement that he must continue working because of the terms of his contract through the 2021-22 season.
“Truth told, I have to because under the terms of my contract, I have to host Jeopardy! for three more years!” he joked. “So help me!”
“Keep the faith and we’ll win,” he concluded, “We’ll get it done. Thank you.”
Trebek shares two children — Matthew, 29, a restaurateur in Manhattan who owns Oso (a popular Mexican restaurant in North Harlem), and Emily, 27, who works in real estate in Los Angeles — with his wife of 29 years, Jean Currivan.