Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek announced that he was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer this week.
In a video posted online Wednesday, the 78-year-old said he was announcing his illness directly to “Jeopardy!” fans in keeping with his long-time policy of being “open and transparent.”
Trebek said he recognizes the prognosis for advanced pancreatic cancer is not encouraging. But he said he intended to fight it and keep working.
He said he hopes to beat the disease’s low survival rate with the love and support of family and friends and with prayers of viewers.
Trebek lightened the message with humor: He said he must beat the odds because his “Jeopardy!” contract requires he host the quiz show for three more years.
This was his full statement from Culver City, California:
“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.”