Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek had an uplifting message for fans as he marked the one-year anniversary of being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
“The one-year survival rate for Stage 4 pancreatic cancer patients is 18 percent,” Trebek said in a video shared on social media Wednesday morning. “I’m very happy to report I have just reached that marker.”
The last year has been brutal at times for the 79-year-old game show host, who has remained on air throughout treatments that often leave him in “great pain” and led to days where “certain bodily functions no longer functioned.”
Trebek also admitted to suffering from bouts of depression so severe, he questioned whether it was even worth going on. It’s something he hasn’t been shy about, revealing last year to Good Morning America co-host Robin Roberts — herself a cancer survivor — that there are times sudden sadness “brings tears to my eyes.”
But Trebek said giving up would’ve been a betrayal of his faith in God and of his wife, Jean, who has “given her all to help me survive.” He also said it would’ve been a betrayal to cancer patients across the globe who look to him as an inspiration “and at times a cheerleader.”
“My oncologist tried to cheer me up the other day,” Trebek noted. “He said, ‘Alex, even though the two year survival rate is only seven percent,’ he was certain one year from now the two of us would be sitting in his office celebrating my second anniversary of survival.”