“Jeopardy” fans are savoring the final week of shows taped before the pandemic shuttered production at Sony Pictures Studio in Culver City, CA. The last episode will airs Friday.
In a measure many hoped would protect beloved host, Alex Trebek, whose immune system may be compromised as a result of treatment for his stage 4 pancreatic cancer, the show discontinued live audiences on March 10th. A week later, the show suspended production indefinitely.
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The world knows Alex Trebek as the host of @jeopardy, but to his kids, he’s just Dad. @jeantrebek writes an article for Father’s Day, you can find it on our website June 10th! #jeopardy #alextrebek #alextrebekjeopardy #fathersday #trebekfamily #familyman #withorwithoutthemustache #trebek #fatherlylove #dadrocks
While fans may have to console themselves with re-runs, his wife, Jean Trebek, is thinking ahead to Father’s Day. A photo of her husband with his three children (above) appeared on her website Insidewink’s Instagram page today with the message: “The world knows Alex Trebek as the host of @jeopardy, but to his kids, he’s just Dad.”
Jean and co-founder, Alison Martin, launched the site dedicated to “goodness and unity” in June 2019 — three months after Trebek revealed his pancreatic cancer diagnosis — under the tagline, “share the good.”
Alex Trebek’s Children
Jean Trebek has featured their children, Emily and Matt, in profiles on her website. Son, Matthew, 30, is a partner in 3 restaurants in Harlem; Oso, Lucille’s, and Pizza by Lucille (named for Alex’s mother). In an Insidewink profile, Matthew shared his work within the community: “We created a weekly soup kitchen called Lucille’s Family Meal for people who are living in
poverty or transitional housing in the North Harlem area,” he explained. Hosted weekly at a local church, Lucille’s Family Meal serves 100 guests, who are seated at tables with church volunteers acting as servers.
Matthew Trebek, right, with business partner Nodar Mosiashivili operate t restaurants in Harlem, NY, and host a weekly soup kitchen in their Harlem, New York neighborhood.
Inspired by his restaurants’ ability to “build a network of relationships” Matt Trebek encouraged
readers to “find something they are passionate about and tie that to a cause,” adding, “If everyone did just a little bit, to whatever cause they chose, that would definitely be the best for everyone.”
Inspired by an Instagram post, Emily Trebek delivered meals to hospital workers at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.
Daughter, Emily, 27, lives closer to her parents in Sherman Oaks, CA, and, says Jean, “One of the qualities that I admire about Emily is that she takes the initiative to act on her “good” ideas,” Jean shared on Insidewink. Inspired by others who were dropping off food at local hospitals, Emily, who’d been “staying at home these past few weeks … thought this was something she could do too,” Jean wrote.
She contacted Cedars-Sinai Medical Center arranged to bring a meal, and, said Emily, “Just knowing that the hospital staff had a nice meal waiting for them that night makes me feel really happy. ‘Happiness is found in helping others’ is definitely true for me.”
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Emily and Matt’s step-sister, Nicky Trebek, (above, right) proudly posted news of Trebek’s forthcoming memoir “The Anwer Is…Reflections on My Life” on Instagram.
In January, Nicky shared this #girldad photo taken with Trebek and her mother, Elaine Trebek Kares. Kares and Trebek were married from 1974 – 1981. Trebek adopted Nicky (who works with her father on “Jeopardy!) Elaine’s daughter from her first marriage. Jean and Alex Trebek married in 1990.
Trebek’s Cancer Diagnosis
Alex Trebek announced in March 2019 that he had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, which is a more difficult cancer to treat as it is often diagnosed late. Trebek was diagnosed at stage 4 and responded well to his initial chemotherapy treatment.
He announced in May that some of his tumors had shrunk a significant amount, and the results were “mind-boggling.” Unfortunately, by September, Trebek announced a reversal of those initial positive results.
Then, on March 4th, Trebek returned with another update, announcing that he had beaten the odds and reached a rare Stage 4 pancreatic cancer milestone: Only about 18% of patients survive one year after diagnosis and, at the time, Trebek was still taping “Jeopardy!”
In the video announcement, he said, “I’d be lying if I said the journey had been an easy one.”
Dr. Anirban Maitra of MD Anderson Cancer Center says 80% of pancreatic cancers are diagnosed in the advanced stage.
But his oncologist says he looked forward to celebrating his second anniversary of survival, for which there is a 7% chance. “Anything is possible,” Trebek noted, telling fans: “I’ll keep you posted.”
Advances in Pancreatic Cancer Treatment
Pancreatic treatments have evolved and one of the biggest developments in cancer research as been for pancreatic cancer treatment. A clinical trial showed, for the first time, that a class of drugs called PARP inhibitors may be effective in treating pancreatic cancer.
PARP inhibitors work by preventing cancer cells that have been damaged — often during the course of chemotherapy — from naturally healing themselves, and have shown significant promise in treating ovarian cancer and breast cancer. However, a study presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting in June revealed that one of these PARP inhibitor drugs, called olaparib (Lynparza), may work for pancreatic cancer as well.