Receiving the heartbreaking news that you have stage four pancreatic cancer is nearly unimaginable for many. Nevertheless, it became longtime Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek’s reality. The 78-year-old was recently diagnosed with the devastating disease and shared the news publicly on air to avoid fans learning of it from the media. Despite the medically grim outlook, Trebek took the diagnosis in stride and is determine to keep fighting. Strangers near and far that have fought pancreatic cancer and survived penned the host heartfelt notes of encouragement, according to Fox News.
Trebek remained positive and put together when he shared the announcement with the world. He was even able to make light of the situation, saying he had no choice but to survive given his contract with Jeapordy! is not yet up. Though he admitted the prognosis isn’t hopeful, he emphasized his plan to fight and keep on working for as long as he’s able.
“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.”
His plea for support and prayers did not go unanswered. Trebek was sent a flood of well wishes, comments, emails and open letters. One of these letters was from Elise Roth Tedeschi, a 42-year-old woman who has been in Trebek’s shoes before.
Tedeschi was diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer in 2012. She was told her cancer was inoperable and she would have only nine months left to live. She was the mother of two young boys and was enjoying a happy life. She couldn’t understand how it was possible that her life had changed so drastically. Rather than accepting her fate and giving in, she found a way to remain positive. It was through that positivity that Tedeschi was able to miraculously beat the odds and survive.
“You may wonder how I stayed positive. My answer was always the same: ‘I didn’t choose to get cancer and I didn’t choose to go through this, but I do get to choose my attitude. So I choose to be happy and live my life!’ Guess what?! I beat the crap out of stage 4 pancreatic cancer and have been in full remission for six and a half years.”
As Tedeschi demonstrated, there really is no match for positive thinking, particularly when battling something as big as cancer. She hopes Trebek will cling to his positivity as he goes about this journey.