Alex Trebek and his wife Jean Trebek are opening up about the “Jeopardy!” host’s cancer diagnosis in an upcoming one-hour TV special, “What Is Jeopardy? Alex Trebek and America’s Most Popular Quiz Show,” scheduled to air Thursday.
ABC’s Michael Strahan asked the couple what the hardest part about dealing with Trebek’s pancreatic cancer diagnosis was.
“It’s when I see him in pain and I can’t help him,” Jean said. “And when he doesn’t eat right. When he has too much diet soda.”
Jean’s “diet soda” remark caused Strahan to give Alex with a look of confusion .
“Back off Michael… I’m 79. If you get to be 79 and be in as good as shape as I – wait a minute I’m not in a great shape,” Trebek said jokingly.
He added: “It’s always tough for caretakers because she has to deal with her worrying about my well-being and also dealing with… I’m not always the most pleasant person to be around when I’m experiencing severe pain or depression, and she has to tread lightly around me.”
Trebek also noted that he didn’t think of himself as courageous for dealing with his cancer diagnosis, saying it’s just part of life.
“Throughout my life, I’ve always wondered about how courageous a human being I was,” Trebek said. “I just look at it as it’s a part of life. Does that mean I’m courageous because I’m dealing with it? No. I could be scared to death and I’d still have to deal with it.”
Since the beloved “Jeopardy!” host shared his diagnosis with the world in March, he’s been receiving endless messages of love and support. The most recent grand gesture of admiration caused Trebek to choke up while hosting an episode of the game show.
Dhruv Gaur, a semifinalist during November’s Tournament of Champions, wrote a message of support for his Final Jeopardy! response after he was stumped during the question, sparking a viral hashtag #WeLoveYouAlex.
Instead of throwing out an answer, the 2018 College Champion decided to write a kind message for the beloved TV host. Gaur put his heart on his screen, writing “We (heart) you Alex!” instead of a Final Jeopardy answer.
The gesture caught host Trebek by surprise. The 79-year-old’s voice cracked, noting the contestant bet big on the sweet note.
“That’s very kind of you, thank you. It cost you $1,995. You’re left with $5,” he said, his voice trembling. “OK.”
“I don’t mind getting choked up. My oncologist told me one of the symptoms, if you will, of pancreatic cancer is that you get these moments of depression, sadness,” Trebek told Strahan.
Alex Trebek chokes up when ‘Jeopardy’ contestant honors him by answering ‘We love you Alex’
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