‘Terrible disease’: The late Alex Trebek issues message on World Pancreatic Cancer Day

U.S. & World

(NEXSTAR) — Alex Trebek, the late “Jeopardy!” host, issued a posthumous message on Thursday’s show to mark World Pancreatic Cancer Day.

“Before we get into today’s match, a word about today,” he said at the start of the “Jeopardy!” episode. “Today is World Pancreatic Cancer Day, and if you or anyone you know has developed some of the symptoms that I have talked about in the past, then, by all means, get to a doctor, get yourself tested. I want you to be safe. This is a terrible, terrible disease.”

The 80-year-old Trebek, who died Nov. 8 following a nearly two-year battle with pancreatic cancer, had continued hosting and recording episodes of the game show up until his death.

On Twitter, the show encouraged viewers to wear purple in Trebek’s honor Thursday.

“Wear purple in honor of Alex, and help raise awareness for the risks and symptoms of pancreatic cancer,” read the post, which showed Trebek with his wife, Jean, both clad in purple and white.

In an Instagram post, Jean Trebek said, “Alex, you are my forever hero.”

The final episode of “Jeopardy!” featuring Trebek is set to air on Christmas Day.

After Trebek’s death, Mike Richards, one of the game show’s executive producers, shared with the “Today” show how the longtime host spent his final day, saying he was able to enjoy a quiet moment.

“He had a swing in his backyard that he loved,” Richards said. “He actually rebuilt it earlier this year. He was very handy. I don’t know if a lot of people know that. And even in his book, he described that he wanted his final day to be sitting on his swing next to his wife, Jean, and kind of watching the horizon.”

He added, “The fact that he had a nice final day, I think makes all of us in the ‘Jeopardy!’ family feel much better.”

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died from complications of pancreatic cancer in September, and Rep. John Lewis died from the disease in July.

According to the American Cancer Society, statistics show that over 90% of patients die within five years of learning they have pancreatic cancer.

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