Alex Trebek, the host of TV’s for 35 years, took to YouTube on Wednesday to announce bad news about his health. The 78-year-old has been diagnosed with stage-four pancreatic cancer.
“I have some news to share with you, and it’s keeping with my longtime policy of being open and transparent with our fanbase,” Trebek said in the video statement (embedded below).
“I also wanted to prevent you from reading or hearing some overblown or inaccurate reports regarding my health. Therefore, I wanted to be the one to pass along this information.”
His statement, unsurprisingly, sets medical context for his news, including his statement that his diagnosis is “just like 50,000 other people in the United States each year.” He also expresses his desire and confidence to take the cancer diagnosis head-on, telling viewers that he “plans to beat the low survival rate statistics for this disease.”
After taking a beat to pause, Trebek added, “Truth be told, I have to. Because under the terms of my contract, I have to host for three more years.” This part of the statement elicited audible laughs from crew members on the Jeopardy set where he recorded his statement. Trebek asked for “the help of your prayers” and asked viewers to “help me keep the faith.”
For more information about pancreatic cancer, visit the American Cancer Society.