Alex Trebek To Rep. John Lewis: Let's Beat Cancer In 2020
There is truly strength in numbers
January 07, 2020 at 1:59 pm
Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek has some encouraging words for U.S. Representative John Lewis (D-GA) in 2020: let's beat cancer.
Trebek, who has hosted the famed game show since 1984 as ABC News reports revealed his pancreatic cancer diagnosis last March. In December, Rep. Lewis also revealed he was enduring the same battle.
"We’re starting a new year, and let’s see if we can’t both complete the year as pancreatic cancer survivors," Trebek told AP News when asked what he would say to the veteran civil rights leader and Georgia Democrat.
Despite his illness, Lewis made it clear he had no plans of stopping work anytime soon.
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Alex Trebek has a message of support for Congressman John Lewis as both fight pancreatic cancer: "We're starting a new year, and let's see if we can't both complete the year as pancreatic cancer survivors," the "Jeopardy" host said when asked what he would tell Lewis. He noted they're the same age, 79. #alextrebek #johnlewis #pancreaticcancer
"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," reported ABC News. He continued, "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."
Trebek hasn't minced words about his struggles with cancer. In December's prime-special Jeopardy! The Greatest Of All Time, the host chronicled his battle. He even mentioned to a series producer that he was "struggling a bit" as he carried out his duties but was lauded for not letting his hardships show.
"I said, ’Well, I noticed,’" Trebek remarked candidly, USA Today reports.
"The chemo is rough, but he can always just turn it on. The music came on, the lights came on, he would just stride out there and nail that show like nobody else," Ken Jennings, a top contestant on Jeopardy! said. "It was exciting to see him doing so well and taking that diagnosis so bravely. To me, he’s the last of that kind of old-school broadcasters, and it’s such a pleasure to watch."
Despite the praise, Trebek always shifts the focus off of him and onto the famous show, the participants and enthusiasts of the show.
"I tell people all the time, ‘Hey, folks, the show’s not about me, it’s about the material and the contestants. Those are the two main items,’" the legendary game show host said. "And if they shine, if the material plays well, if the contestants do well, people will enjoy the show. If they enjoy the show, probably some of that enjoyment will rub off on their views of me, and they’ll like me too."
“No matter who’s hosting it, Jeopardy! will go on. It’s a quality program and it’s put together by very bright people. And when I move on, that doesn’t matter," he said. “It’s the best kind of reality television, so it will endure," Trebek modestly said.
Lewis also remains undeterred as he continues to undergo treatment. Not going into the specifics about the amount of time he will be away or what type of treatment he has opted for, he asserted he has no intention of neglecting his congressional duties.
"I may miss a few votes during this period, but with God's grace I will be back on the front lines soon," Lewis said while also asking the public for prayers.
The "conscience of the Congress," as Lewis is referred to, is known for not only talking the talk but walking it too.
The civil rights icon led protesters in the 1965 Bloody Sunday March across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, at just 25 years old. Lewis endured being beaten so severely by police officers that his skull was fractured, reports ABC News.
He was also a key figure in organizing the 1963 March on Washington. He even addressed the crowd before Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have A Dream" speech.
In 1981, Lewis began his political career as a council member on the Atlanta City Council. In November 1986, he was elected to Congress and has served as a U.S. Representative of Georgia's Fifth Congressional District since then.
Lewis also currently serves as the Senior Chief Deputy Whip for the Democratic Party in leadership in the House, a member of the House Ways & Means Committee, a member of its Subcommittee on Income Security and Family Support and Ranking Member of its Subcommittee on Oversight.