“Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer back in March 2019. In the months that followed, he has been open about the ups and downs of living with the disease. Now, a teen “Jeopardy!” champion has donated a portion of his earnings to pancreatic cancer research in honor of the legendary game show host.
Avi Gupta of Oregon won over $100,000 when he competed on the TV show in June 2019. In honor of Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month in November, he has donated $10,000 of his prize money to pancreatic cancer studies at the Knight Cancer Institute within the Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, Oregon.
The institute took to Twitter to share a video of Gupta explaining why he decided to donate to this cause:
Teen Jeopardy! champion Avi Gupta donated $10K to honor his hero, Alex Trebek. Join him this #PancreaticCancer Awareness Month by making a donation to honor someone you're #InspiredBy: https://t.co/otf5yeZCVV pic.twitter.com/qtGdMvr6k6
— OHSU Knight (@OHSUKnight) November 1, 2019
“Teen ‘Jeopardy!’ champion Avi Gupta donated $10K to honor his hero, Alex Trebek,” reads the caption. “Join him this #PancreaticCancer Awareness Month by making a donation to honor someone you’re #InspiredBy: OnwardOHSU.org/InspiredBy.”
“I was inspired to give by Alex Trebek, the host of ‘Jeopardy’ and someone I’ve looked up to my whole life,” Gupta explained in the video. “It was a dream come true earlier this year to finally join him on the ‘Jeopardy!’ stage in the ‘Jeopardy!’ teen tournament, and I’m honored to be able to make this donation to the Knight Cancer Institute to support him and the millions of other people suffering from pancreatic cancer across the world. Our goal with this campaign is to support research into pancreatic cancer: awareness and early detection, and we hope you’ll join us in contributing.”
You can learn more about the #InspiredBy campaign and donate here.
Gupta isn’t the only ‘Jeopardy!’ contestant to show Trebek support during this difficult time. On the Nov. 11 episode of the show, contestant Dhruv Guar bet $1,995 on his answer for Final Jeopardy, using the opportunity to send the host the following heartfelt message: “We love you, Alex!” Trebek was visibly touched by the kind gesture.
Watch the emotional moment in the clip below, posted to Twitter by the official Jeopardy! account.
— Jeopardy! (@Jeopardy) November 12, 2019
In a previous post, the account also posted a still shot of Guar’s message, saying, “Couldn’t have said it better ourselves, Dhruv! #WeLoveYouAlex.”
Additionally, contestants in the Tournament of Champions this Nov. 14 and 15 are organizing a play-along fundraiser, encouraging “Jeopardy!” watchers at home to give $1 to the Lustgarten Foundation for Pancreatic Research for every correct answer they give.
Here’s the tweet with details from “Jeopardy!” champion Steven Grade:
The #Jeopardy Tournament of Champions competitors are organizing a charitable play along to help fight pancreatic cancer. See below for details, play along, spread the word, and let’s do what we can to help win this fight. pic.twitter.com/tP9CG49paP
— Steven Grade (@ask_Steven) November 5, 2019
Referencing Larry Martin, a “Jeopardy!” Teachers Tournament champion who died of pancreatic cancer earlier this year, the post reads, “Play one night, play both nights, donate an amount that is right for you, or help spread the word to Jeopardy watchers and non-watchers alike — every little bit helps, and every little bit helps to honor Alex, Larry, and all those who are fighting and have fought pancreatic cancer.”
We wish Trebek the best as he battles his illness and salute the kindness of these awesome contestants showing him support and working to beat pancreatic cancer!