Alex Trebek's Wife Jean Shares the "Toughest Part" of His Cancer Battle

Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek and his wife Jean sat down with ABC News' Michael Strahan for an interview that partly aired on Thursday's episode of Good Morning America

By Elyse Dupre Jan 02, 2020 3:56 PMTags
Alex Trebek, Jean Currivan Trebek Michael Kovac/Getty Images for AFI

Alex Trebek's wife, Jean Trebek, is opening up about his cancer journey. 

The Jeopardy! host and his spouse sat down with ABC News' Michael Strahan for a special called What Is Jeopardy? Alex Trebek and America's Most Popular Quiz Show.

When asked what the "toughest part" has been for both of them, Jean said it was seeing her husband in pain and knowing she "can't help him."

"And when he doesn't eat right," she added, per a sneak peek at the special on Good Morning America, "[and] when he has too much diet soda." 

Alex revealed his pancreatic cancer diagnosis in March 2019. He's since continued to host the popular quiz show. In fact, Jean said "it's what feeds him."

"He loves doing Jeopardy!," she continued. "He has his own family over there. They're such a close-knit, beautiful group of people. So, I think that gives him a lot of support, a sense of purpose—that he's just not in bed and can be productive."

Celeb Cancer Survivors

Jean and Alex have been married for 29 years and share two adult children. At one point, Alex reflected on how his cancer battle has impacted his loved ones. 

"It's always tough for the caretakers," he acknowledged, "because she has to deal with her worrying about my well-being and also dealing with—I'm not always the most pleasant person to be around when I'm experiencing severe pain or depression and she has to tread lightly around me."

He also opened up about the support he's received from his fans.

"Most of us have open-ended lives," he explained. "We don't know when we're going to die. Because of the cancer diagnosis, it's no longer an open-ended life. It's a closed-end life because of the terrible statistics/survival rates of pancreatic cancer. And because of that—and something else that is operating here—people all over America and abroad have decided they want to let me know now, while I'm alive, about the impact that I've been having on their existence. They have come out and they have told me. And my gosh, it makes me feel so good."

Watch the video to see a clip of the interview.

Fans can watch What Is Jeopardy? Alex Trebek and America's Most Popular Quiz Show Thursday, Jan. 2 at 8:00 p.m. ET on ABC.