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Alex Trebek Gives One-Year Update on Stage 4 Cancer Diagnosis, Admits “Massive Attacks of Depression” Made Him Consider Giving Up the Fight

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America’s favorite game show host Alex Trebek has offered a hopeful health update, nearly one year after announcing his battle with stage 4 pancreatic cancer.

In March of last year, the “Jeopardy!” host took to social media to share with fans that though his prognosis was “not very encouraging,” he vowed to beat the odds that were surely stacked against him.

“Now, normally the prognosis for this is not very encouraging, but I’m gonna fight this, and I’m gonna keep working,” announced the hopeful host before asking for prayers. “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.”

Thus far, Trebek has remained true to his word, though he admitted there were times in the past year when he questioned if the fight was really worth it.

“There were moments of great pain, days when certain bodily functions no longer functioned and sudden, massive attacks of great depression that made me wonder if it really was worth fighting on,” he shared. “But I brushed that aside quickly because that would have been a massive betrayal, a betrayal of my wife and soulmate, Jean, who has given her all to help me survive. It would have been a betrayal of other cancer patients who have looked to me as an inspiration.”

Watch Trebek’s full update below: 

Here is the transcript of Trebek’s full statement:

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“Hi, everyone. If you’ve got a minute, I’d like to bring you up to date on my health situation. The one-year survival rate for stage 4 pancreatic cancer patients is 18%. I’m very happy to report I have just reached that marker.

Now I’d be lying if I said the journey has been an easy one. 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. There were moments of great pain, days when certain bodily functions no longer functioned and sudden, massive attacks of great depression that made me wonder if it really was worth fighting on. But I brushed that aside quickly because that would have been a massive betrayal, a betrayal of my wife and soulmate, Jean, who has given her all to help me survive. 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 would have been a betrayal of my faith in God and the millions of prayers that have been said on my behalf.

You know, my oncologist tried to cheer me up the other day. He said, ‘Alex, even though the two-year survival rate is only 7%,’ he was certain that one year from now, the two of us would be sitting in his office celebrating my second anniversary of survival. 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. I’ll keep you posted.”

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Kelsey Straeter
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Kelsey is an editor at Outreach. She’s passionate about fear fighting, freedom writing, and the pursuit of excellence in the name of crucifying perfectionism. Glitter is her favorite color, 2nd only to pink, and 3rd only to pink glitter.

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