In the announcement, an upbeat Trebek said he was delivering the news himself in order to avoid “overblown or inaccurate reports regarding my health,” then explained that he received the diagnosis this week, “just like 50,000 other people in the United States each year.”
Trebek acknowledged that the prognosis for his illness “is not very encouraging,” but vowed that he wouldn’t give in to the disease.
“I’m going to fight this, and I’m going to keep working,” he said. “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.”
He added, joking: “Truth told, I have to, because under the terms of my contract, I have to host Jeopardy! for three more years.” In the video, you can hear that the line got a laugh from those on set during the taping. He has hosted the show since 1984.
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Trebek closed the roughly one-minute spot by asking the game show’s fanbase to “help me. Keep the faith, and we’ll win,” he said. “We’ll get it done.”
UPDATE: Mike Hopkins, chairman of Sony Pictures Television, which produces Jeopardy!, said in a statement Wednesday, “If anyone can beat this, it’s Alex. He has our full support as he tackles this challenge head-on.”
Press PLAY on the video above to hear Trebek deliver the news himself.