Alex Trebek is facing his latest life challenge head-on. In light of the distressing news that he has late-stage cancer, the 78-year-old ‘Jeopardy!’ host recorded a short video (below) for all his fans to set the record straight.
Many people are praising the courageous move, and lauding his openness, honesty, and even good humor about a very serious situation.
In the video, Trebek thanked his viewers for their loyal support and asked for prayers as he fights the dreaded disease. He even joked that he ‘HAS to beat the illness” because he still has three years to go on his ‘Jeopardy!’ contract!
What a shining example of class, dignity, and courage!
But one subject he did not bring up was his personal life, other than to say that he will be relying on his family’s support through his trial.
“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.”
But, in a candid interview with ‘People,’ slightly less than two months before he made his bombshell announcement, Trebek shared his one regret in life. We have to wonder if, at the time, he already knew what lay ahead; his words were so prophetic.
In the opening moments of the January interview, the beloved game show emcee started out by qualifying what he was about to say, making an upbeat, general statement.
“I’m pretty satisfied with my life,” said the Canadian-born television star.
But when the topic turned to his marriage, he had something a little more specific to say. And he says he was inspired by the late President George H. W. Bush.
“But my wife Jean and I have been together almost 29 years, and I was thinking about President Bush when he died, and all the comments about his life about what a nice guy he is, and how he and his wife had been together 73 years.
“I thought, oh my gosh … if I’d just met Jean in my 20s we could have had a longer life together.”
And then, with his typical ‘Trebek-ian’ humor, the longtime 'Jeopardy!' host added jokingly, “I guess if I’d met her when I was in my 20s she wouldn’t have been born yet. But hey, 29 years is pretty good!”
When it was her turn, Alex' wife had a lot to say about the love of her life.
“He’s got a great sense of humor,” 54-year-old Jean said. “He takes his job very seriously, but won’t take himself too seriously.”
She also said her husband has an air about him that makes him seem much younger than his years. “He’s just an intelligent human being,” she said. “Part of Alex’s staying youthful is his staying curious.”
The two had been friends before they were finally married. Alex was divorced and 24 years her senior, yet Jean says there was something undeniably compelling about him.
“There was just this deep sensitivity about him with a gruffy exterior,” she shared. “I kept thinking, he’s 24 years older than me .. but there was something that just kept drawing me to him.”
And the rest, they say, is history. The pair tied the knot in 1990 and went on to have two children together, Matthew and Emily.
In spite of the battle ahead of him, it sounds as though Alex really has had a wonderful life. And, if he’s determined to beat this horrible disease, as he tells us, having such a loving and supportive family around him will give him the best possible odds.
Please pray for Alex and his family as they weather the tough months ahead.