Two years ago today in March, Alex Trebek stood behind his Jeopardy! podium just as he had thousands of times before. Except for this time, the pressure was on him. The beloved game show host told the audience of millions watching that he had Stage VI pancreatic cancer.
And he fought hard with humor, humility, and grace. And he survived much longer than doctors expect for such a horrific diagnosis, all the while doing what he could to help raise awareness and money for the disease. But unfortunately, he died in October. Now, his fans and friends are picking up where he left off.
Jeopardy! champion Ken Jennings, who was the first guest host to fill in for Trebek after his death, tweeted about the sad anniversary. But, as Trebek would have wanted, Jennings remained hopeful and positive.
“Hard to believe, but it’s been two years today since Alex Trebek announced his pancreatic cancer diagnosis. For a future with early detection and new treatment options, I hope other fans of Alex will join me in supporting organizations like @PanCAN. PanCAN.org,” he wrote Saturday.
Doctors who study pancreatic cancer said Trebek’s poise, determination, and hard work have been incredibly important to the work they’re doing.
“Patients that I have had with pancreas cancer have really looked to Alex (Trebek) and what he was going through. He’s really been a source of hope for them because he continued to work and he remained in the public eye,” said Alexis Leal, MD, Colorado University Cancer Center. “I think a lot of patients saw that as very hopeful as they were going through their own journey. It’s great that he had a job that he loved and he was able to continue to work and was very public with his journey.”
Long List of Celebrity Fill-in ‘Jeopardy’ Hosts Announced
The final episode of Jeopardy! Alex Trebek ever filmed aired around Christmas last year. Since then, the show has made do with a series of celebrity guest shows. Jennings was the first, followed by the show’s producer Mike Richards. Both received rave reviews from fans.
But coming up in the next few weeks expect to see some very famous faces behind the host’s lectern.
Author and journalist Katie Couric will guest host Jeopardy! March 8-19. Subsequently, Dr. Mehmet Oz takes over from March 22-April 2. Then Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers hosts April 5-16. Though, no dates are set for the remaining guest hosts actress and neuroscientist Mayim Bialik, journalist Anderson Cooper, and Dr. Sanjay Gupta. Follow the schedules on Jeopardy!‘s website.