On Monday’s night’s episode of “Jeopardy!,” host Alex Trebek – who has been battling stage 4 pancreatic cancer – struggled to maintain his composure as a contestant wrote out a touching message for him instead of an answer.
Contestant Dhruv Gaur, a Brown University college student majoring in economics and public health, appeared to be baffled by the Final Jeopardy question. So, instead of writing out an answer, he decided to take the opportunity to send the host a short but heartfelt message.
“We (heart) you Alex!” Gaur wrote.
Trebek was visibly caught off-guard when he read Gaur’s kind message. For a moment, the beloved 79-year old host seemed at a loss for words.
“That’s very kind of you, thank you. It cost you $1,995. You’re left with $5,” he responded, his voice trembling.
After the Tournament of Champions episode aired on the East Coast, Gaur explained the rationale for his note.
“Sorry for west coast spoilers, but I’m really glad I got the opportunity to say to Alex what everybody at the tournament was thinking,” he tweeted.
“For context, Alex had just shared with us that he was reentering treatment for pancreatic cancer. We were all hurting for him so badly.”
“When Final Jeopardy came up, I could’ve tried to puzzle it together, but really, just kept thinking about Alex, and thought he should know. I’m just very grateful I got the opportunity to say what I know everyone was thinking. Sending all the love,” Gaur continued.
Immediately after the episode was shown, #WeLoveYouAlex began trending on Twitter.
“The guy knew he had no chance of winning the game so he wrote that… Aw. We need more people like that in the world. So darn sweet. #WeLoveYouAlex,” tweeted @waitng4thtdance.
“I truly hope Alex Trebek knows how much joy he has brought into our homes for so many years. #WeLoveyouAlex,” tweeted @amberlywaves.
Trebek first talked to the public about his pancreatic cancer diagnosis in March. In October, he said that he was completing his second round of chemotherapy.
“I will keep doing (the show) as long as my skills do not diminish. And they have started to diminish,” Trebek said, sharing that a side effect of chemo occasionally makes him slur his words. “When I feel my skills have diminished to the point where I notice and am bothered by it because all the people around me are saying, ‘No, it’s OK!’ But there will come a point when they’re no longer able to say ‘It’s OK’ … We’ll play it by ear and keep chunking along until we either win or lose.”
“The thought of the pancreatic cancer does not frighten me. I’m not afraid of dying. One thing they’re not going to say at my funeral as part of a eulogy: ‘He was taken from us too soon.’ I’m 79 years old. I have lived a good life, a full life and I’m nearing the end of that life. I know that. I’m not going to delude myself,” he added.
We never thought that an episode of “Jeopardy!” can make us cry, but it did. Grab some tissues and watch a snippet of Monday night’s episode in the clip below.
We love you, Alex!