A contestant on the game show “Jeopardy!” has donated a large proportion of his winnings to a renown cancer research center in honor of host Alex Trebek, who has been suffering from pancreatic cancer.
Columbia University freshman Avi Gupt wrote a check for over $10,000 to the Oregon Health & Science University’s Knight Cancer Institute, that’s mission is: “to translate discoveries into better ways to diagnose, prevent, and treat cancer,” after taking home the top prize of $100k on the popular show.
“This is in honor of ‘Jeopardy’ host Alex Trebek, a man who’s been a role model for me my whole life,” he told KGW. “Everyone knows someone or has been affected by cancer in some way. I believe scientists are winning the fight against cancer, we just need to help them to do more.”
After receiving the devastating cancer diagnosis back in March, Trebek has undergone several rounds of chemotherapy. Despite putting up a valiant fight against the disease, last month, he announced that he was “nearing the end” of his life.
“I’m not gonna delude myself. If it happens, it happens,” he added. “Why should I be afraid of that?”
At the end of the month, however, Trebek was announced that he was continuing to rely on “God’s grace and prayers,” through the illness and would “keep fighting” to the end.
Trebek opened up Tuesday’s Tournament of Champions show by paying tribute to a former contestant who had lost their battle with pancreatic cancer — the disease Trebek himself is suffering from.
Larry Martin, the winner of the 2018 Teachers Tournament, passed away at the start of this year, months after claiming the title.
“Larry was not only a good player but he was really, really popular with our fans here in the studio, with fans nationwide and with all of his fellow competitors,” Trebek said shortly after his death. “He will be severely missed.”
In honor of Martin and to show solidarity with those suffering from the disease, Trebek and the contestants wore special purple ribbons during Tuesday’s show.
“I’m sure many of you noticed on yesterday’s program, and on today, with our three contestants all wearing purple ribbons. This is one of the symbols in the fight against pancreatic cancer,” Trebek explained, according to USA Today. “They are wearing them as a tribute to Larry Martin.”