Hundreds of Jeopardy episodes have been hosted by Alex Trebek but he’s never had a final answer quite like this.
The long-standing game show host— who announced in March that he was diagnosed with stage IV pancreatic cancer— has continued to host shows between treatments of chemotherapy. And he received a heartwarming message of support from contestant Dhruv Gaur on Monday’s episode of the “Champions Tournament.”
During the show’s “Final Jeopardy” portion, Gaur made the decision to forgo writing in his question, instead writing “We ❤️ You, Alex!” Having wagered all of his money but $5, the question basically meant that he was throwing away his chance at a win, but Gaur’s statement was definitely worth it, as Trebek had to take a pause — as he was choked up — before moving on.
Alex Trebek getting choked up during Final Jeopardy today messed me all the way up. #Jeopardy #WeLoveYouAlex pic.twitter.com/QJVP4hJpGV
— sabreena (@aneerbas) November 12, 2019
The sweet gesture immediately made the rounds on social media, with fans adopting the hashtag “# WeLoveYouAlex” as they shared their own appreciation for the longtime host, who has been asking the tough questions since 1984.
Gaur took to Twitter himself after the episode aired to share his motivation behind the meaningful moment.
“Sorry for west coast spoilers, but I’m really glad I got the opportunity to say to Alex what everybody at the tournament was thinking,” he wrote. “For context, Alex had just shared with us that he was reentering treatment for pancreatic cancer. We were all hurting for him so badly.”
“When Final Jeopardy came up, I could’ve tried to puzzle it together, but really, just kept thinking about Alex, and thought he should know. I’m just very grateful I got the opportunity to say what I know everyone was thinking. Sending all the love. #weloveyoualex.”
Sorry for west coast spoilers, but I’m really glad I got the opportunity to say to Alex what everybody at the tournament was thinking … 1/n
— dhruv gaur (@dhruvg_) November 12, 2019
Trebek sat down with Good Morning America back in September to have an interview to talk about his announcement that he had to undergo another round of chemotherapy due to a setback in his recovery. However, he made it clear that his hope and optimism had not faded one bit.
When asked how season 36 has been going for him in light of his health concerns, he replied, “[It’s] the season that comes before number 37. That’s it. It’s another day at the office. But what a wonderful office to go to do your work.”
“As long as I can walk out, and walking out is more of an effort now than it used to be, as long as I can walk out, and greet the audience and the contestants, and run the game, I’m happy,” he added.
Just a few months after his own diagnosis, “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek has announced a “global PSA” to increase awareness about the symptoms of pancreatic cancer.
In March, the 79-year-old host was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer and has since been extremely open about his health status to his viewers.
He told the “Good Morning America” of ABC in September that his cancer numbers had “skyrocketed” and that more chemotherapy would be required.
However, minor sores in his mouth arose in those rounds of chemotherapy.
In early October, Trebek said in an interview with Canada’s CTV News that the sores have begun to impair his ability to pronounce words just as he did in the past.
“I’m sure there are observant members of the television audience that notice also, but they’re forgiving,” he said. “But there will come a point when they [fans and producers] will no longer be able to say, ‘It’s OK.’”
While Trebek hopes to keep his promise to fight his cancer and keep hosting “Jeopardy! he may be forced to end his role at some point due to the side effects of his treatments.
Trebek expressed the realities of many people diagnosed with pancreatic cancer face in a recent video uploaded to YouTube.
“In nearly every country, pancreatic cancer is the only major cancer with a five-year survival rate in the single digits,” he said.
“Now in order to help patients fight and survive this disease, more attention and awareness are needed,” Trebek said. “And that’s why I’ve joined forces with the World Pancreatic Cancer Coalition, to help raise global awareness of the risks and symptoms of pancreatic cancer.”
The World Pancreatic Cancer Coalition helps to increase awareness about pancreatic cancer in an attempt to encourage people to recognize the symptoms and get diagnosed earlier.
The symptoms of pancreatic cancer may include abdominal pain, loss of appetite, depression, new-onset diabetes, skin yellowing, and fatigue, according to the Mayo Clinic.
It is often not detected until it is more advanced, making this particular type of cancer so deadly.
Trebek said before his diagnosis, he experienced abdominal pain.
“I wish I had known sooner that the persistent stomach pain I experienced prior to my diagnosis was a symptom of pancreatic cancer,” he said.
The beloved host then asked his fans to participate in Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month in November by wearing purple and helping spread awareness.
Dr. Mehmet Oz said to Fox News that Trebek is in great spirits in spite of his bleak situation.
“He’s a strong man, and I think he’s doing much better than I would do,” he said.
“Pancreatic cancer, like all cancer, hides from you and hides at a really bad place,” Oz added, “right in the middle of your body where you can’t tell it’s there.”