(CBS NEWS) – Fans of longtime “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek have been sending messages of love and support since the star revealed he was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer earlier this year. But one man took the kind words a step further — and delivered a surprise answer during an episode of the game show that nearly brought the icon to tears.
Instead of choosing an answer to the “Final Jeopardy!” question of Monday night’s “Tournament of Champions” game, contestant Dhruv Gaur wrote “We ❤️you, Alex!”
As the host read the message, he began to choke up. When the camera panned, Trebek appeared to be getting emotional.
“That’s very kind of you. Thank you,” Trebek responded. “Cost you $1,995. You’re left with five bucks. Okay,” the television personality added, as he appeared to get close to tears.
The show tweeted about the interaction, writing, “Couldn’t have said it better ourselves, Dhruv! #WeLoveYouAlex.” The show’s Twitter account later posted a longer video. The heartfelt moment has also gone viral on Twitter, accompanied by the hashtag #WeLoveYouAlex.
Alex Trebek’s battle with Pancreatic Cancer
The 79-year-old star was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer in March, and has been public about his struggles throughout his treatment. After undergoing chemotherapy, Trebek returned to the “Jeopardy!” stage in September to kick off season 36 of the iconic game show. But the following week, he revealed he was returning to chemotherapy after his “numbers went sky high.”
Trebek suggested in an interview last month that his tenure with “Jeopardy!” may be nearing an end as his battle with cancer continues. “I will keep doing it as long as my skills do not diminish, and they have started to diminish,” he told CTV.
Pancreatic cancer has the lowest survival rate of all cancers, because the lack of obvious symptoms or an early screening test means people are often diagnosed at an advanced stage, according to the World Pancreatic Cancer Coalition. Every day, more than 1,200 people worldwide will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and an estimated 1,180 die from the disease.
Sophie Lewis contributed to this report.
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