Katie Couric’s stint as “Jeopardy!” guest host is well underway, and the veteran journalist has described the experience as nothing less than “fun.” However, that’s not the only thing she’s been doing on the show. Her gig has also allowed her to raise money for a cause that’s near and dear to her.
After her husband passed away from colon cancer in 1998, Couric has devoted her life to advocating for colon cancer research and awareness. During her stint on “Jeopardy!” as the first female guest host in the show’s history, Couric is taking a moment to spread awareness and raise money for the disease. During her first week as host, the show matched the contestants’ winnings that totaled up to $112,503. The funds will go directly to the nonprofit organization, Stand Up to Cancer, which Couric founded.
According to the CDC, Colon cancer, also known as colorectal cancer, is the third most common cancer doctors diagnose in the U.S. and the third leading cause of cancer deaths in both men and women combined in America. In addition, more young people are also not immune to the disease. Recently, the American Cancer Society lowered its screening guidelines to start at age 45, instead of 50 as a proactive measure.
For Couric, she encourages others to understand the importance of early detection. “Early detection saves lives,” said Couric, who lost her husband when he was just 42-years-old. “If someone is screened and the disease is diagnosed early, it has a (high) cure rate.”
Katie Couric Pays Tribute to ‘Jeopardy!’ Legend Alex Trebek
After a week of hosting, Katie Couric made sure to honor Alex Trebek, who stood behind the same podium for 36 years. Last November, the world lost a legend when Trebek also passed away from cancer.
“This has been an extraordinary experience for me, and on a personal note, it has made me respect Alex Trebek even more than I already did,” Couric said at the start of Monday’s game. “Hosting this show is hard. And the fact that he did this while he was fighting pancreatic cancer, well that was downright Herculean. I am so proud to help carry on his legacy and raise money for pancreatic cancer research.”
Katie Couric made her “Jeopardy!” debut on Mar. 8 and will continue through Mar. 19. Before Couric, “Jeopardy!” EP Mike Richards and former “Jeopardy!” champion Ken Jennings also hosted the popular quiz show. Following Couric’s run, celebrity doctor Mehmet Oz will take his place behind the podium from Mar. 22 to Apr. 2.