A year ago Alex Trebek shocked fans around the world by announcing that he had been diagnosed with stage IV pancreatic cancer.
The disease has a very low mortality rate, and Trebek was optimistic but honest about his chances: “Now normally, the prognosis for this is not very encouraging,” he said. “But I’m going to fight this, and I’m going to keep working… I plan to beat the low survival rate statistics for this disease.”
Remarkably, one year later Trebek is still going and still hosting Jeopardy! And he recently put out a one-year update video, celebrating that he had survived another year, defying the 18% survival rate associated with the disease.
Trebek has always kept his fans updated about his health, and this video showcased his ability to remain positive and humorous without sugarcoating his struggles.
“I’d be lying if I said the journey had been an easy one,” he 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.”
He says that the cancer fight was full of so many difficult moments that he had asked himself “if it was really worth fighting on.”
But at the same time, Trebek has served as a hero and inspiration for so many people, and that is what has kept him going:
“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, and it would certainly have been a betrayal of my faith in God and the millions of prayers that have been said on my behalf.”
The two-year survival rate for stage IV pancreatic cancer is only seven percent, but he’s made it this far, and his doctors seem confident that Trebek will be back here celebrating another year of living.
“And you know something, 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, anything is possible.”
Congratulations, Alex! We’re so glad you’re still fighting this disease and keeping in good spirits!
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