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“Jeopardy” host Alex Trebek fought back tears during Monday’s episode of the show after a contestant made a touching gesture to him during the closing round of the show.
Contestant Dhruv Gaur, who was competing in Jeopardy’s annual “Tournament of Champions,” did not know what the answer to the final Jeopardy question was and decided to write instead, “We love you, Alex.”
Trebek was moved by the gesture, saying, “That’s very kind, thank you.” Gaur’s answer cost him $1,995.
In March, Trebek announced that he had been diagnosed with cancer.
“I have some news to share with all of you, and it’s in keeping with my longtime policy of being open and transparent with our Jeopardy! fan base,” Trebek said. “I also wanted to prevent you from reading or hearing some overblown or inaccurate reports regarding my health. So therefore, I wanted to be the one to pass along this information.”
“Just like 50,000 other people in the United States each year, this week I was diagnosed with stage IV pancreatic cancer. Now, normally, the prognosis for this is not very encouraging, but I’m going to fight this—and I’m going to keep working,” Trebek continued. “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.”
“Truth told, I have to! Because under the terms of my contract, I have to host Jeopardy! for three more years,” Trebek joked at the time. “So help me. Keep the faith, and we’ll win. We’ll get it done. Thank you.”
Just two months later, Trebek announced that his cancer had gone away.
“It’s kind of mind-boggling,” Trebek said. “The doctors said they hadn’t seen this kind of positive result in their memory … some of the tumors have already shrunk by more than 50 percent.”
“I’ve got a couple million people out there who have expressed their good thoughts, their positive energy directed towards me, and their prayers. I told the doctors, this has to be more than just the chemo, and they agreed it could very well be an important part of this,” Trebek continued. “I’ve got a lot of love out there headed in my direction and a lot of prayer, and I will never, ever minimize the value of that.”
In September, Trebek revealed that the cancer returned and he was going to have to resume treatment.
“I was doing so well,” Trebek said. “And my numbers went down to the equivalent of a normal human being who does not have pancreatic cancer. So we were all very optimistic. And they said, ‘Good, we’re gonna stop chemo, we’ll start you on immunotherapy.’ I lost about 12 pounds in a week. And my numbers went sky high, much higher than they were when I was first diagnosed. So, the doctors have decided that I have to undergo chemo again and that’s what I’m doing.”
“As long as I can walk out and greet the audience and the contestants and run the game I’m happy,” Trebek added.