"Jeopardy!" host Alex Trebek and his wife, Jean, pose after receiving Fordham University's Founders' Award at a Jan. 7 reception in Los Angeles.Catholic News Service

‘Jeopardy!’ host Alex Trebek cites power of prayer in cancer battle

Alex Trebek, the longtime host of the TV game show Jeopardy! and his wife, Jean, received Fordham University’s Founders’ Award at a reception in Los Angeles.

According to Tom Stoelker writing in Fordham News, this was the first time the award — which he described as “weighty statuette” of Fordham founder Archbishop John Hughes — has been presented outside of New York City.

Born and raised in Canada, Trebek, 79, has been at the helm of Jeopardy! for 36 years. He has continued to host the classic game show even as he has undergone chemotherapy for stage 4 pancreatic cancer.

A year ago, he was told he has the disease. He responded well to chemotherapy and at one point announced he was “near remission,” but in August he said he had to resume a course of chemo treatment.

“If there’s one thing I have discovered in the past year, it is (the) power of prayer,” he said in accepting the Fordham award. “I learned it from the Jesuits when I was a kid, I learned it from the Oblates of Mary Immaculate when I was in boarding school.”

In her remarks, Jean Trebek said, “We understand how education, and probably more importantly, higher education, is one of the linchpins of society.”

She referenced the scholarship she and her husband established at Fordham about five years ago, saying that seeing how a scholarship can change a life has been “awe-inspiring” for her and her husband.

“Once we are allowed to have the support that leads to an educated mind, that mind has the opportunity to be open and curious which allows for a fuller understanding and appreciation of our humanity both individually and collectively,” Jean Trebek said.

In 2015, the Trebeks established the Alex Trebek Endowed Scholarship with a $1 million for scholarship for students from the New York City neighbourhood of Harlem. In 2019, they added another $1 million to the endowment to aid students from North Harlem and East Harlem.

Jesuit Rev. Joseph M. McShane, president of Fordham, said Alex Trebek, who was raised a Catholic, is “a brilliant man who is the nation’s schoolteacher.”

If people think the Jeopardy! host is a good man, “you don’t know the half of it,” the priest said. “He’s better than you think.” Father McShane called him a man of “quiet generosity.”

The Trebeks have two children, both of whom they sent to Jesuit schools. Daughter Emily is a 2015 graduate of Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. Son Matthew graduated from Fordham College at Rose Hill in 2013. Fordham College is the oldest of the university’s 11 schools.

On Jan. 8, during at the winter Television Critics Association press tour, Alex Trebek told TV writers that “some days are better than others” for him as he copes with cancer. He was scheduled to undergo a new round of tests in the days ahead, he said, and expected it would “maybe another week or so before I know where things stand.”


43 thoughts on “‘Jeopardy!’ host Alex Trebek cites power of prayer in cancer battle

  1. We Love You, Alex!!!
    Thank you for sharing your strong faith in God – the world today needs more Alex’s to bring hope and love into the world! My whole family is praying for you, Alex!

  2. One of the greatest things we can do is pray for others and ourselves. Jesus is the Great Physician and has the power to sustain us, comfort and heal us through our many trials in life. Keep looking to Jesus Christ our Savior for all things in life, especially for your illness now, and He will bring you through. May the peace of God that passes understanding be with you and your family. May the Lord give wisdom to all that are providing treatment to you. You especially touch my heart as my Dad had pancreatic cancer many years ago before there was any treatment available and there is so much available now to treat that disease. We pray that God will heal you and take this disease from your body.

    1. Hoping Alex gets to read this, Cancer cannot spread or grow in Pure Oxygen….please google Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy, a cylinder purchased in California for home use….many are healed.

  3. God bless you and your family. Know that everything works the way God intends and keep fighting. We have been Jeopardy fans from the beginning and tape it if we won’t be home to watch it. We try to answer as many questions as possible and really enjoy your hosting skills. Stay strong.

  4. Amen. That’s more important than all this World has to offer in Hard Goods in the end. God has you on His hands, Alex Trebek. Be inspired by all who love, pray and care for you.

  5. Hello There’s A Special Prayer On YouTube For Mr. Trebek Just Go To
    Prophetess Malissa Prayer For Alex Trebek On YouTube GOD Bless You All

  6. Hello There’s A Special Prayer On
    YouTube For Mr. Alex Trebek Go To
    Prophetess Malissa Prayer For Alex Trebek On YouTube. The Bible Says
    Where Two Or Three Are Gathered
    Together There GOD Is In The Midst
    The More People That Come Together
    To Pray The Better!

  7. Alex, you are SO LOVED by so many people. I will continue to pray for you. I have watched you host jeopardy for many years! 🙂

  8. May God bless you, Alex; you have been great presence in our family nearly every day for 36 years.

  9. Alex Trebek:
    Jeopardy has always been our favourite television show each weekday evening. The Spirit of God was evident in each session through your leadership, Alex. We’ve been keeping you in our hearts, minds and prayers ever since you first announced your 4th stage Pancreatic Cancer. My uncle died of within 3 weeks of diagnosis. You already are aware of God’s perfect plan by providing you with the best available Medical Practices. They’re not the only thing that’s kept you going: God’s used your FAITH in Jehovah God to touch the lives of countless people around the Globe to allow them to see how a famous television personality can embody the Fruits of the Spirit from Galatians 5: 22-23. Yes, I know you’re not perfect. Once however you surrendered your life to Jesus Christ, His Holy Spirit entered in and led you to become the great leader, husband and father that you now are..

    Continue to be both healed and blessed in Jesus name, Amen.

    1. On Good Friday 1968, I was orphaned by a drunken driver who was driving 98 miles an hour. The aorta were pulled out of my mother and father’s hearts. My cousin beside me in the back seat died 3 hours later. I was left in a coma, on intravenous in a very small hospital in central British Columbia. Into a 3rd week a young Intern from John’s Hopkins joined the tiny staff,l. He asked the Chief of Staff if if he could order in a new device now available called a Shunt. The Chief readily agreed as this 16 year old girl, badly scarred and with her face smashed in, four upper teeth knocked out and being dragged out through the broken glass back of the vehicle was not going to live much longer. The shunts arrived, were used until they hit the Cerebral Fluid and drained it off to bring me out of my coma. I, to this day day still have 6 tiny scars that mark each time this wise doctor inserted a Shunt, seeking the correct spot to drain the fluid off. Afterwards, with only one eye that I could barely see from, they called my brother’s Commanding Officer to see if he come to visit. Yes but he and his wife would need to give up their 3 weeks holidays that summer. He flew in with the Tudor Jet they gave him. All I recall is him standing beside me in his orange flight suit with matching helmet dr his right arm. I said, ” They’re telling me that mommy and daddie are on the 2nd floor. They aren’t are they? Their in heaven? The tears began to fall down his cheeks. Several weeks later I went back to our home in New Westminster, British Columbia. Looked after my nephew. Then they sent me to huge Teaching Hospital in Alberta where they did a Spinal Tap. Here’s where God performed a miracle: I was informed that I had so much brain damage that I’d never be able to get my Grade 12 Graduation. I’d been a Mathematics and Physics Scholarship student back home. I prayed and left it in God’s hand. Attended school in Calgary. Received some bursaries, high enough grades for some small Scholarship and now have 2 full University Degrees and am one course short of a 3rd. God has seen me through 2 more severe accidents and a Brain Tumour, Terminal Diseases that have been erased. He is my strength and my daily life. Go with God, Alex Rebek.

  10. I hope and pray you are able to continue being a beacon of light for many years to come.

  11. Alex Trebek you are a member of our family and we love you. Thank you for all the years of JEOPARDY in our home. God bless you and your family and we all pray that you may have many more years of being on tv.

  12. Alex and Jean, thank you for your example of faith and courage. You are in our prayers.
    John and Jan Barker

  13. Pray is very important, powerful. Our God is an awesome God. My additionall pray is that you have accepted Christ know Him as your personal Savior, have eternal security of Life in Heaven

    1. Amen. That’s more important than all this World has to offer in Hard Goods in the end. God has you on His hands, Alex Trebek. Be inspired by all who love, pray and care for you.

  14. Indeed, prayer is healing. Thank you for sharing how this has worked in your life, especially during this very difficult time in the lives of many.

  15. Alex Focus on Christ and the Cross hopefully you have accepted him as your Lord and Savior . Pray for yourself as well, and watch what Christ can do..God Bless You and your Family!!

  16. May God bless you and keep you safe when things look down and you’re feeling depressed you look up to the master he’s right there with you I want you to know that I’m praying for you and your family may God keep his arms around you both don’t give up God is good.

  17. Alex my Prayers are with you and family….Dont give up God answer prayers.
    All the Best

  18. I have enjoyed watching you on jeopardy for many years, you have a knack of makingpeople feel like your right at home with the,. You are a remarkable man and you have brought much knowledge to many families, learning is fun message and quirks kids and peoples interest in many things thru you. I pray for you and your family all the time., I admire the love your wife shows by giving you the opportunity it to live and continue doing g what’s important to you, i pray that God decides He can do without you and let you continue to do His work right here for a long time in better health, God bless and keep yo

  19. Alex my Prayers are with you and family….Dont give God answer prayers.
    All the Best

  20. Alex I am 72 years old and have 5th stage rental failure. Prayers of the saints have kept me from dialysis. I feel great most of the time and know God is taking care of me.
    Only when He’s ready to take me home will I leave this earth.
    I have watched and loved you since you took over as host of jeopardy, so you are like family to me and I’m praying Gods hand of protection all over you.

  21. What ever works for you
    Personally I think religion is a bunch of fairytales
    I am a great admirer of Alex and wish him the best.

  22. We have been praying for you Alex. We have enjoyed you & Jeopardy from the first it started.
    You are the great, we are so proud to say you are also a Canadian. You heart ❤️ is so large, you support so many organizations we have no money but we try to give as much time as we can to support others any way possible. We understand how good you feel when we help others.
    God is always there when we need him. Even when we are not sure we can handle another bad day.
    God Bless. we will continue to keep you in our prayers.
    Vic has fibrosis ”lung is turning to Christel” Barbara has COPD also a lung issue. Married 58 years so we do understand how there are good days and bad one.

  23. God Bless you and your family. Your in my prayers constantly. I watch classic concentration and jeopardy every day. You are the best host of the best.

  24. Mr. Trebek I have enjoyed you everyday that I have watched you on Jeopardy lo these many years and I pray for God to give you wisdom for him to give you strength and power to be constantly present within you ..I pray he would make you strong and courageous for the road ahead and give you the ability beyond what you feel able and let God’s gifts flow freely through you so that God would be honored by your life and others would be drawn to you…. I pray that God keep you far from snares in the traps of temptations. And that God would whisper in your ear when you need to run and whisper in your ear when you need to stand your ground …I pray for you constantly . Godspeed and I love you with the Love of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ ..
    Sondra Garner
    Madison Georgia

  25. Thru the blood the lamb in Jesus name prayer of the saints are united with you to dissipate all sickness and diseases in your body Alex. Psalm 103:3

  26. Your in my thoughts and prayers, Alex. The Lord is with you, not just in times of suffering, but all times. Keep fighting!!!

  27. Praying for Alex and for everyone going through cancer.

    Cathy A., Canada

  28. My God bless you Alex. I have been a surgeon for over fifty years. I have miracles with all my high education I could not explain. People were supposed to die but lived for a long time. Patients with wide spread breast cancer, their cancer disappeared and are still living. God be with you and so are my prayers for you Alex.

  29. My wife of 28yrs. and I try to watch Jeopardy every night.We have different interests but our time together having dinner and watching Jeopardy is special.We love Alex Trebek and wish him and his family all the best. Tim and Barb

  30. You are strong, you will beat this. We love you and you are in our prayers.

  31. Alex I am living witness as to the greatest healing is the power of prayer – Power of prayer healed me thru lung cancer 26 years ago, ruptured appendix with peratinitis ( given 24 hours to live but walked out of hospital 24 days later – diptheria – scarlet fever – 2 years ago diagnosed with ovarian cancer (had surgery not one cancer cell found in me). I’m 77 years old and GOD MY HEAVENLY FATHER AND JESUS MY LORD AND SAVIOR HAVE ALWAYS BEEN WITH ME THRU THE DARKEST OF NIGHTS AND BRIGHTEST OF DAYS. PICKED ME UP AND CARRIED ME WHEN I DIDN’T KNOW THEY WERE THERE!! ALOT OF PEOPLE GAVE UP ON ME, BUT I NEVER LOST FAITH IN MY HEAVENLY FATHER AND JESUS!! YOU WILL OVER COME TIS DISEASE AS THE POWER OF PRAYER IS AND WILL BE YOUR HEALER!!!

    1. You must be born again in order to go to heaven ask Jesus to come into your heart and turn from your sins.

    2. My wife and I are both Christian Faith believers she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer 6 years ago unfortunately lost her battle to the disease on November 11,2019.

      She never gave up on her faith in the lord and even through it’s been extremely tough on me loosing her I also haven’t lost my faith in the lord until we meet again in heaven.

      Alex keep fighting with your faith .

      God bless you all !

    3. Awesome, powerful testimony! We praise the Lord for your healing & recovery. Bless His Holy Name

  32. God Bless you and your family Alex. You all are in my thoughts and prayers. America loves you Alex.

  33. God bless you and your family, Alex. You are an inspiration to millions of us!

  34. Bless you and your family Alex. I will continue praying for you.

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