Alex Trebek is best known for hosting the beloved game show Jeopardy!, a job he began back in 1984. For the last year, Trebek has been dealing with a cancer diagnosis and recently took to Twitter to share an update on his health. The host revealed that the one-year survival rate for stage 4 pancreatic cancer patients is only 18%, but after a tough journey, Trebek has reached that milestone. Trebek was extremely open about how hard the last year has been on him and revealed that he's struggled with depression and sadness due to the taxing chemo. However, Trebek's message is filled with hope and he has every intention of continuing the fight.
“Now I’d be lying if I said the journey had been an easy one,” Trebek says in the video. “There were some good days but a lot of not-so-good days. I joked with friends that the cancer won’t kill me, the chemo treatments will. There were moments of great pain, days when certain bodily functions no longer functioned and sudden, massive attacks of great depression that made me wonder if it really was worth fighting on. But I brushed that aside quickly because that would have been a massive betrayal - a betrayal of my wife and soulmate, Jean, who has given her all to help me survive. It would have been a betrayal of other cancer patients who have looked to me as an inspiration and a cheerleader of sorts, of the value of living and hope, of my faith in God and the millions of prayers that have been said on my behalf.” You can check out the full speech in the tweet below:
A one-year update from Alex: pic.twitter.com/W9101suZeZ— Jeopardy! (@Jeopardy) March 4, 2020
Previously, Trebek made it clear that he plans to stay on Jeopardy! "as long as [his] skills have not diminished". However, Trebek recently answered one major question regarding the future of Jeopardy! -- whether or not he will have an influence in who could eventually become his replacement. “It’s not a decision that would be up to me. And I would not make myself available to presenting an opinion,” Trebek told TVLine at the Television Critics Association winter press tour in January. “I would leave it up to the people in charge.”
“[Alex] really has no interest in being involved in that process,” Jeopardy! executive producer Harry Friedman later explained. “We would welcome his opinion, obviously, but he feels like it’s really not up to him. And he has said that for a long time.” Even then, Trebek has spoken several times about who he'd eventually like to see succeed him -- and offered one particular pop culture icon as an option.
“When people ask me who I’d like to see replace me, I say, ‘Well, it’s probably going to be a woman, and she’ll have to be bright, she’ll have to have a good sense of humor…'" Trebek explained. "Uhhhh, let’s see…. Betty White! Betty White is my choice.”
We wish you the best, Alex!