It’s been one year since Alex Trebek shared the devastating news of his cancer diagnosis.
And he’s not losing hope.
“There were moments of great pain,” the 79-year-old “Jeopardy!” host said in an emotional update posted to the show’s Twitter Wednesday. “Moments when certain bodily functions no longer functioned and some massive attacks of great depression that made me wonder if it was really worth fighting on.
“But I brushed that aside very quickly, because that would have been a massive betrayal.”
Trebek was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer last year, and has fought the disease publicly ever since. All the while, he’s continued hosting the long-running show, including its celebrated Greatest of All Time tournament that crowned Ken Jennings the winner.
In his emotional update, Trebek went on to say that he pushed through the pain because he couldn’t bear to let down his wife and “soul mate,” Jean Trebek, and the millions of fans who have supported him in the fight for his life.
“Jean has given her all to help me survive,” he said, adding that other cancer patients have looked to him as a “cheerleader of sorts.” Indeed, he’s given words of encouragement to others battling the disease, such as congressman and civil rights leader John Lewis, who also has pancreatic cancer.
He added that it would be a “betrayal of faith in God and the millions of prayers sent to me” to give up the fight.
Still, pancreatic cancer is a tough one to beat, he notes. He’s made it further than 18% of patients with the disease, but the two-year survival rate is only 7%. He says he and his doctor believe he will give another update a year from today.
“If I — no, if we, because so many of us are involved in this same situation — if we take it just one day at a time with a positive attitude,” he said, “anything is possible.”
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