Some terrible news for Jeopardy! fans broke on Wednesday afternoon. Alex Trebek has released a video message, in which he reveals that he has been diagnosed with advanced (stage 4) pancreatic cancer. TMZ reports word from sources who say he received this diagnosis today, and he definitely hopes to finish recording the current season of his long-running game show. The outlet further states that he’s remaining as upbeat as possible following the news.
Here’s what Trebek declares in his recorded message, in which he vows to defeat cancer. The host states that he wants to be as transparent as possible with his audience, and Trebek even cracks a joke about his contract requiring him to continue hosting for multiple years:
“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.”
Last year, questions about Trebek’s future with Jeopardy! swirled as he mulled over retirement, but priorities have clearly changed. He’s now pledging to beat his bleak diagnosis and stick with the show that he’s hosted since 1984 for more seasons to come. We wish him all the good health in the world and are rooting for a full recovery.