Famed TV gameshow host Alex Trebek is sending a word of encouragement to Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) as both men fight diagnoses with pancreatic cancer.
“We’re starting a new year,” said Trebek, “and let’s see if we can’t both complete the year as pancreatic cancer survivors.”
The 79-year-old lawmaker and civil rights champion, who is the same age as the “Jeopardy!” host, first shared his stage 4 diagnosis in late December.
“I have been in some kind of fight — for freedom, equality, basic human rights — for nearly my entire life; I have never faced a fight quite like the one I have now,” said Lewis, according to CNN. “While I am clear-eyed about the prognosis, doctors have told me that recent medical advances have made this type of cancer treatable in many cases, that treatment options are no longer as debilitating as they once were, and that I have a fighting chance.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) tweeted she is praying for the Democratic politician following the tragic update:
As for Trebek, he has been battling pancreatic cancer since March 2018.
The beloved TV personality has said he is leaning on “God’s grace and prayers” from supporters as he continues to fight his own stage 4 diagnosis.
During a candid interview in October 2019, Trebek said he is “nearing the end” of his life, though he is still taking aggressive steps to treat the cancer. And in a “Good Morning America” interview that aired last week, Trebek revealed how he plans to close out his time as host of “Jeopardy!”
On his final episode of the show, after the game has ended, Trebek said he will ask his producers for 30 seconds to address the audience in the studio and his fans watching on their TVs.
“It’ll be a significant moment, but I’ve kind of — in my mind — rehearsed it already,” he said. “And what I would do on that day is tell the director, ‘Time the show down to leave me 30 seconds at the end,’ that’s all I want.”
His final words, he told GMA, will be, “Until we meet again, God bless you and goodbye.”